Do they have the sage-like wisdom of human bartenders, though?
Image via Oddity Central
Mixologists and bartenders beware: your worst nightmare is coming true. Robot bartenders are now a reality, even if the concept is more of an experiment, rather than something that speakeasy owners are actually investing in. Still, robot bartenders don't ask for tips and can work long hours until last call without complaining.
One part James Cameron, one part Ernest Hemingway, the bartender robot named 'Carl' at Robots Bar & Lounge in Ilmenau, Germany is hugely popular in the small city. The humanoid machine was built by engineer Ben Schaefer of H&S Robots and isn't available for sale. At least not yet.
Schaefer used discarded parts from industrial robots to create this cocktail maestro, and Carl can measure liquor, add it to shakers and even speak. He also has sensors to prevent him from bumping into the bar or knocking over glasses (in other words, he is drunk-proof).
Image via H&S Robots
Schaefer said that the artificial intelligence is very elementary -- as demonstrated by Carl's limited speaking capabilities -- but the engineer hopes he will be able to test and observe the machine better in a real environment with real people, rather than in a closed lab.
It will be a long time before we see robots filling a wide-range of service jobs, but the possibility is exciting. Robots can never replace the therapist-like wisdom that comes from tradional, free-willed bartenders (or be able to break up a bar fight, for that matter), but I certainly bet they could make the perfect martini. We can only dream.