Forget Gundam. This is Japan’s greatest robotic feat.

What makes Japanese convenience stores so amazing is their variety. Inside, you’ll find not only snacks like chips and ice cream, but tasty bento boxed lunches, bottles of hot tea, and onigiri rice balls.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, convenience store chain Lawson is giving us one more reason to stop by: a fried chicken-cooking robot!

This 153.8-centmeter (60.6-inch) tall pinnacle of technology cooks Lawson’s Karaage-kun brand of bite-sized fried chicken morsels. One of Japan’s (and Katy Perry’s) favorite snacks, Karaage-kun is so loved that the chain sells about 20 billion pieces annually (each pack contains five pieces). As with all Japanese snacks, there’s a constantly evolving list of limited-time flavors, like pitch-black Black Hole and Dragon Quest healing magic.

The first Freshly Cooked Karaage-kun Robo model will be installed at Lawson’s TOC Osaki branch in Tokyo, with its first day on the job being December 11. The designers say its automated cooking procedure is 80 percent faster than the conventional method, allowing each and every customer to enjoy speedy cooked-to-order fried chicken.

▼ Karaage-kun

But while the robot can handle cooking duties with ease, it doesn’t yet have sales skills, so you’ll still need to order and pay for your fried chicken with a human clerk at the counter, who’ll give you the customary paper Karaaage-kun packaging. Then you scan the package’s bar code at the robot and insert the package, and the machine does the rest.

The Freshly Cooked Karaage-kun Robo’s initial test run will last until December 28, but Lawson says it eventually plans to upgrade it to fully automated status. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll see it team up with Japan’s robot cafe waiters and sushi delivery bots to start its own restaurant empire.

Source: Lawson via IT Media
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Insert images: Lawson, SoraNews24

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s of the firm opinion that Karaage-kun Red tastes better than the original recipe.