A New Wave of Bartending Robots Is Here

bartender robot

The RoboGames, also known as the “Olympics of Robots,” has started to develop a unique niche competition aside from all of the bots battling to destroy each other: bartending robots. Within this growing community, those who create the robots for the sake of art are pitted against those who construct the bots, with hopes of making lots of money, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Kevin Roche, co-creator of the ThinBot, sees the drink-mixing robots as performance art and exciting feats of scientific experimentation, not a way to merely replace humans and make some cash. Though that doesn’t mean Roche’s robots are any less advanced: “Most bartending robots are dispensing-machines. I wanted to make mine more than that,” he said after winning gold at a recent RoboGames competition.

The other faction of bartender bot creators prove much more pragmatic, like the group of Georgia Tech graduates that created The Monsieur, a machine described by company president Donald Beamer as “a Keurig for liquor.” The Monsieur goes for $3,999 a pop, and its tabletop version will be unveiled this May at the Kentucky Derby. Mint juleps, anyone?

Bill Sherman, creator of the Elixirator, which can make up to six cocktails with a steampunk flare, also eschews any attempts to make commercial robots. He believes it’s not worth the effort to make a robot that will do the same things a human bartender can do, “A robot is not going to know you’ve drunk too much,” he remarked.

No matter what side you find yourself on, the increasing popularity of bartending robots begs the question: Will they ever come to replace the friendly neighborhood bartender? At this rate, probably not anytime soon. [Wall Street Journal][Photo: Flickr/Cory Doctorow]