Posted in design and architecture, engineering, food

Mechanically stirred

How much of an art is it really to mix a good drink? One blogger from Wired Magazine gives his review:

… At a bar in San Francisco, a group of artists, engineers and tinkerers sought the answer with their creations: robots designed specifically to pour out a nice drink.

The booze-making bots included an all-mechanical, lever-operated robot; a Cosmobot with a rocket-shaped body; and Barnold, who is “strong and big, just like Arnold.”

“We really just like robots and cocktails, and both together seemed like the perfect thing,” said Simone Davalos, one of the organizers of the Barbot 2010 event. “There is no real aim for world-changing, paradigm-shifting technological achievement, at least not from our perspective, but who knows? Lots of amazing things have happened over cocktails.”

From cosmos to appletinis, these robots measured, mixed and poured out drinks that were precisely assembled. And those droids were mesmerizing to watch.

As for the drinks themselves, having sampled drinks from almost all the robots, my verdict is that the robots still have a long way to go. The cocktails taste just a little too clinical. There’s a missing ingredient in there. Could that be the human touch?



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.