Sprinkles the Robot serving up ice cream and more

Apr. 3—BLUEFIELD, Va. — Some lovers of sweet treats enjoy candy sprinkles on their ice cream. Now thanks to modern technology, Sprinkles can bring them their ice cream and more.

Human beings were preparing ice cream treats, hot dogs and other cuisine Tuesday when Evan's Sweets in downtown Bluefield, Va., celebrated its ribbon cutting and grand opening, but one crew member's uniqueness was entertaining children and adults alike. Equipped with multiple shelves and pleasant manners, he served food and greeted them at the same time.

"He will bring out your ice cream or your food that you order," she said. "And he'll tell you 'My name is Sprinkles. Welcome to Evan's Sweets and have a sweet day.'"

Sprinkles was generating smiles as he rolled among the tables.

"The kids love him, but I believe the adults love him more," Ratcliff said.

Six-year-old Gabriel Milam watched Sprinkles served up his family's order.

"I love it!" he declared. "It's cool!"

"I think it's neat," his mother, Charish Milam agreed.

Some minor changes had to be made so Sprinkles could work in Evan's Sweets.

"We had to take out two tables that we were going to use so he would have plenty of room to get around and it was well worth it, but we're adding four tables on the outside just when the weather gets a little bit warmer out here," Ratliff said.

Ratliff said she got the idea for bringing a serving robot to Bluefield, Va. when she saw one at a Minnesota pizza place. Anyone wanting to see another one in action will have to go to Richmond, Va.

"I just thought he was super cute," she said. "It took us four months to get him. He came of a place in the Midwest and we ordered him and they came and installed him and everything and stayed two days to make sure he worked."

Another Evan's Sweets is open on Rogers Street in Princeton. It is located at the site of the former Berkshire's, Ratliff said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com