Robot Baristas

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, hapless earthling Arthur Dent meets a vending machine that uses a very sophisticated method to determine the specific preferences of its customers, but still gives everyone a cup of something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. It checks the customer’s taste buds, metabolism, and neutral pathways, but the product is identical every time.

A new automated barista does a better job, using only math. The robot, called “Coffee Haus,” can provide any specified ratio of coffee to water, accurately and consistently. Once customers determine their perfect ratio for their favorite coffee, they can send it in on their smartphones and be sure of getting the precise strength of coffee they prefer, every time.

This robot barista can deposit the drink into a locked container and text customers a code to get that coffee out of its lockbox. But some coffee shops that use the machine have their Coffee Haus pass the finished beverage on to a human being.

They figure people might like a precisely consistent cup of java, but they still want someone to smile at them when they pick it up.

What’s automation good for?

This auto-barista may make good use of math, while others boast of their speed and lack of waste. In fact, the Coffee Haus can make a hundred cups of coffee in an hour without compromising on quality or breaking  sweat. But the success of robot baristas is less about making a new machine than about using automation for the things automation is best at doing.

Fast, consistent production is a robot’s jam. Human workers can’t touch a robot for speed and uniformity.

Warm, friendly service? People do that better than robots. Punching in a code to get your coffee from a locked chamber is a little bit sad compared with sharing a bright human smile.

Assuming that you’re using your Rexroth electric industrial motion control for the right purposes, we can help you keep it running perfectly.

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