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Meet Ginger. Photo: Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty

One of the latest restaurants to replace waiters with machines has three robots, all named Ginger, who glide from the kitchen to the tables, cracking jokes for diners.

But it's not in China, Japan or the U.S. — the main venues for robot experimentation. It's in Nepal.

The big picture: Nepal is far from being an innovation center. It has a GDP of around $25 billion — 1/500 the size of China's and 1/800 of the United States'. And it graduates just 10,000 technologists a year. But a handful of startups are working to bring cutting-edge tech to the small Himalayan nation.

  • One startup is Paaila Technology. This group of 25 engineers — none over the age of 27 — designed and built three "Gingers" and installed them at Naulo, a restaurant they opened in one of Kathmandu's poshest neighborhoods, reports the Economic Times of India. The restaurant's name roughly translates to "new."
  • Much of Naulo is automated — customers order via a digitalized screen at their table, choosing from full-color photographs of pizza, Nepali dumplings and other dishes.

Fun fact: The Gingers themselves are very much handmade — they are painted, for instance, by a local mechanic.

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Pentagon watchdog finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff

Rep. Ronny Jackson walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) allegedly made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female staffer, drank alcohol and took sleeping medication while working as White House physician, according to an official report obtained by CNN Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The Department of Defense inspector general's report stems from a years-long investigation. Jackson has called the allegations "false and fabricated."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.