How Good Are Those Robot Bartenders?

There are industries in which robots are really doing most of the work, such as the auto industry, and areas in which the promise of the robots always seems to be far ahead of the reality, like agriculture and fast food. What about bartending? Thrillist reviewed a bunch of robot bartenders to see whether they live up to their hype.

First, they found that quite a few of the supposed robot bartenders are nothing of the kind. Some just deliver drinks made by humans, and some are kitchen appliances — no more robotic than your average coffee maker. For example, the Barsys Coaster, which measures liquor and other ingredients by weight as a human being pours them in, and uses an app to judge whether that human is following the chosen recipe correctly. It’s basically a bossy scale.

The robot bartender designed by Carlo Ratti is a real robot bartender. We wrote about it without actually sampling its wares, but Thrillist tried the drinks. They were not very good. Apparently the robot-bartenders, though inspired by the motions of an Italian choreographer, are “wimpy” in their actual motions. The drinks were watery and uninspired, and the robots spilled some of them, too.

Who thought this would be a good idea?

Precision is one of the advantages of automation, and precision is a good thing for mixing cocktails. Precise measurements not only produce a tasty cocktail, they’re also essential for a profitable one. Human bartenders are notoriously imprecise, so a robot bartender is an obvious solution.

What’s more, robot bartenders are entertaining, at least according to one bar owner. They dance when they’re not working, and we all know how entertaining dancing robots are.

Robots are usually faster than humans. Robot bartenders can mix a drink in about 90 seconds. They don’t need breaks and they don’t want tips (although on cruise ships, drink prices include a tip which goes to the cruise ship company).

Sounds like the robot bartenders are still an open question. Any robot needs fantastic motion control, though. We believe that Rexroth makes theist motion control on the planet, and we can help with any Rexroth electric motion control service and support needs.

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