Will these robotic bartenders call last orders for the Tom Cruise cocktail shakers?

23-04-2015 | By Paul Whytock

We all know the scenario, the lightening quick juggling of various bottles of booze that miraculously deposit measures of alcohol into a cocktail shaker which then produces a very palatable potion. It's all part of the fun of visiting a really good bar.

So how would you feel if the Tom Cruise lookalikes were replaced by app driven and electronically controlled robots?

Now for customers riding the bar solo this would mean that the friendly chat with the sympathetic bartender would be missed, but there are plenty of positives about being served by a cyber shaker.

Makr Shakr, the world’s first robotic bartending system, has been designed by engineering inventor Carlo Ratti and has made its debut at the Bionic Bar onboard Royal Caribbean’s new high-tech cruise ship, Anthem of the Seas.

One immediate advantage of having robotic bartenders is they can cope with the 5000 passengers that this new liner can accommodate.

So what exactly are these new bar-keeping droids? The PR blurb describes them as a mixology system that allows users to create personalised cocktail recipes in real-time through a smart phone application. So how's it going to work? Customers will access an app on a tablet allowing them to create alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink combinations. The cocktail creations will then be mixed by two robotic arms whose movements are shown on a large display behind the bar.

They of course mimic the actions of a bartender from the shaking of a martini to the slicing of lemons. But these robots do more than imitate human cocktail shakers. They have been programmed to replicate the gestures of Italian choreographer Marco Pelle from the New York Theatre Ballet.

So having been entertained by the balletic booze builders customers will then have the possibility to name their own drinks recipes, access their order history and record their favourite cocktails.

So what we have here are bartenders that will remember your favourite drink from the night before even if you can't and they wont superciliously suggest that you may have had enough to drink. But on the down side they don't have to call "last orders please" just before bar is closing because they can just automatically shut themselves down at closing time.


By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is Technology Correspondent for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over thirty years. Prior to entering journalism, he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.