Robotic Bartenders, Cocktail Machines, Bionic Bars, whatever you want to call them, Barbots fascinate me. You know, it’s hard not to be fascinated by fully automatic machines that can mix cocktails for you…
I am interested for two reasons. First, I like to have fun, I love gadgets, and I think a Barbot would be the best of a party. Most people have never seen or even heard of one. CNC professionals will notice a fairly simple robotic arm seen in many CNC plants.
Second, they raise many fascinating engineering problems if you want to build one. In this article, I did some in-depth research on Robotic Bartenders to bring you as many ideas as possible for creating your own Bionic Cocktail Maker. The Barbot that caught my attention the most was Makr Shakr. Let’s talk about the details about “Makr”.
Makr Shakr is a robotic bartender system that allows people to order drinks from 3 industrial robot arms. These are the Kuka KR 16 robots, a highly iconic symbol of the industrial revolution. They can lift 16 kilograms, are frustratingly fast and incredibly accurate (accuracy to 1/10th of a millimeter). A companion app allows people to select and customize a drink recipe from a list of over 100 liqueurs and mixers. Two of the Kuka industrial robots are equipped with cocktail shakers for the task of mixing, while the third delivers the finished drinks to a conveyor that delivers the drink to the person ordering the drink (possibly so that no one gets hit by the extremely fast-moving robots).
Makr Shakr was designed at MIT’s Senseable City Lab and manufactured and implemented by Carlo Ratti Associati in Italy, where it was built. Incredibly, this massive project went from concept to full implementation in about three months. The full rig weighs between five and six metric tons and made the sea voyage in a fairly densely packed shipping container. The most advanced robot bartender we’ve ever seen.