Send in the Robots!

By the end of 2022, robot baristas are set to start serving fresh coffees in 30 Singapore MRT stations.

Built by Singapore tech startup Crown Digital, the baristas will be housed in stores built by retail property management firm Stellar Lifestyle. Located in retail spaces with a footprint of just 5sqm, Ella, as they will be dubbed, offer a cashless, contactless interface with commuters and are capable of serving up to 200 cups of coffee an hour. 

Using a digital app, consumers can even order coffees in advance and pick them up when they pass through the station. 

The Singapore program follows an agreement last December to test market Ella in railway stations operated by JR East in Japan.