California-based robotics company Party Robotics has launched a prototype of a cocktail-making robot on US crowdsource funding website Kickstarter. The Bartendro can hold up to 15 beverage bottles and be programmed to mix dozens of cocktails including Black Russians, Kahlua Mudslides and Tequila Sunrises. The open-software system also broadcasts its own wi-fi signal, making its menu and command centre accessible to any internet-enabled device that can log in to the network, including smartphones and tablets.
The robot, powered by a single-board Raspberry Pi computer, comes in four variations – Bartendro 1, 3, 7 and 15. The names refer to the number of peristaltic pumps that each one employs and the number of cocktails that it can make at a time.
Both the Bartendro’s hardware and software are open source, encouraging users to collaborate on the product’s development, and the team at Party Robotics has also expressed interest in creating an online database where people can share and give feedback on cocktail recipes. If Bartendro progresses into production, it will likely be marketed to bars and restaurants, as it currently has no payment system or way of verifying a customer’s age.
Stylus explores the continuing infiltration of robots into mainstream society in Artificial Intelligence: Man and Machine. An increase in the availability of open-source software and hardware is encouraging a new cohort of citizen scientists, while also allowing companies to harness users’ creativity. Read more in Consumer-Creators.