WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
The resent resurgence in interest in the field of robotics means we are now seeing more robots appearing in more places taking on more tasks.
Las Vegas who recently met its goal to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy is full of dazzling audio visual exhibitions, and is a leader in employing novel technologies to create unforgettable, avant garde experiences, such as America’s first autonomous bus, oh the irony, so it should come as no surprise when a new bar opened using electronic ordering, and, more significantly, robot bartenders.
The Tipsy Robots, as they’re known started work at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, and with a robotic bartending duo on hand, as well as an additional team of eight people, there’s no shortage of drinks or technology in this venue.
The experience all begins with the drink order. Customers start their order on one of the custom designed, self-order kiosks where they can customise their drinks in pretty much any way you can think of. They can choose whether they want their drinks shaken or stirred, and even when they want the shaking and stirring to occur, and they can even share their creations with others.
Once the order’s locked in it goes into the robot’s queue. The kiosks “talk” to the robots via a simple internet connection, according to Stephen Mornet, president, Robotic Innovations, the company who came up with the idea of what’s rapidly becoming known as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) controlled bar.
Once the kiosks send the order to the robots it adds the requested drinks to the queue, which is visually displayed, in real time, on 55 inch screens above the bar so patrons are never left wondering when it will be their turn to quench their thirsts.
“In addition to the waiting list users can see a set of dynamic infographics showing how others enjoyed their creations, along with drink ratings,” says Mornet.
“The Tipsy Robots use signage to reduce customers perceived waiting time and customers are often so busy watching the drinks get made, taking pictures and sharing on social media, that they don’t even notice they’ve been waiting,” adds Mornet.
So how did these robots snag their dream job? The robotic bartenders are the brainchild of a MIT student. They were first commercially introduced on cruise ships, and Tipsy Robot claims to be the first robo-bar on land. The bionic bartending duo was made for Tipsy Robot by German robotics firm firm KUKA Robotic Corporation who also make robots and co-bots for companies like Ford who use them on their vehicle production lines.
The robotic bartenders are placed on a futuristic looking platform with the same items drinkers know and love, which includes more than 100 bottles of alcohol.
“The [bars] structure integrates the versatility of robots with different typologies, along with liquid dispensing systems, garnishes, ice dispensers, and all other functions needed to prepare a world-class cocktail,” says Mornet.
Each cocktail takes between 60 and 90 seconds to make, and the bartenders can create up to 120 drinks per hour. And what do these bartenders do in their down time you might ask… reminiscent of a human bartender, they slice fruit to prepare for the next round of drinks of course, and even better, they can have a dance off courtesy of the human operator on standby to assist, should any problems arise.
Dancing cocktail making robots… whatever next? Burger flipping robots?