Italian Choreographer Inspires Robot Bartender

Modern robots are inspired by everything from fleas to octopi… and now by an Italian choreographer, Marco Pelle. Makr Shakr‘s new robotic bartender is a pair of standard industrial robotic arms. The company used film of Marco Pelle’s movements to design the machine’s gestures, however.

Nino, a new version of the machine which has built more than 1.5 million cocktails, has access to 170 bottles. One arm measures and mixes precisely and the other arm pours and delivers the drink to the customer.

Nino’s colleagues, Tina and Bruno, are available for purchase or lease. There’s also Guido, a self-driving bar which isn’t yet on the market. When it gets ready, its makers say, it will “change leisure.”

Makr Shakr has a vision beyond bartending. This, they say, is why they have gone with an industrial shape for their bartenders, rather than choosing a humanoid look. “Automation and robotics can be highly fascinating. Yet, at the same time, thinking at a future in which most work will be carried out by robots, compel us to reflect on the impact of technological advancements on today’s professions,” their website says.

Nino doesn’t just hand over a drink like a fancy vending machine. Customers use the Makr Shakr app to design their own cocktails and even to control the mixing movements. This, Makr Shakr figures, will help human beings get comfortable with robots — without downplaying their industrial identity.

Getting your Cuba Libre (one of the most popular cocktails, according to the app) from Nino and his colleagues will put the ordinary person in control of a robot. Its stylish gestures will increase the appeal. What’s more, for every machine they sell, Makr Shakr pays to train a human for a future job. The retraining is intended to make sure that the robobartenders don’t put anyone out of work, and that the benefits of automation will be more evenly distributed.

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