A Robot’s barista has started working at a coffee hotspot in San Francisco and Hong-Kong. Once customers order a cup of coffee via their smartphones or a tablet on the stand, a coffee machine makes a coffee and a robot arm places it to a heat retaining station. When customers input a PIN issued at the time of order, the robot arm shifts newly made coffee to them. Interestingly, the coffee machine will automatically re-pour a coffee if customers don’t show up and cannot receive the coffee within 6 minutes.
Regarding reputation of this diligent robot’s barista, while some customers listed practical benefits such as they don’t need to wait for more than necessary and they may use this service again in the near future, others mentioned that a barista cannot be replaced with the robot’s barista because they would like to have a chat with a barista.
To tell the truth, in Japan, there is a café where we can have a conversation with a robot’s barista. HENNA CAFÉ located in Shibuya, Tokyo, a robot inside a counter manipulates a coffee maker and serves a coffee with freshly-grounds, and it takes 3 to 4 minutes. Also, while Sawyer prepares a coffee, customers can enjoy a short conversation with him.
Both of them let us think what we really want at a café. Which barista would you prefer, “human” or “a robot”? It may be enjoyable to think of it the next time when you are on a line to get a cup of coffee!
- When: Open!
- Where: San Francisco, U.S. (Metreon Shopping Centre), Hong Kong (Science Park)
- Robot: Cafe X (2 WMF Coffee Machines, 6-axis Mitsubishi Electric Robot Arm)
- When: Open!
- Where: Shibuya, Tokyo (Shibuya MODI B1F)
- Robot: Sawyer (Rethink Robotics), Poursteady Coffee Machine
Gigazine, “ロボットが淹れたてのコーヒーを提供してくれるコーヒーショップ「Cafe X」“, 31st Mar, 2017
Wired, David Pierce, “This Robot Baristat Makes a Dang Good Latte“, 30th Jan, 2017