Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Robots Are Ready to Shake (and Stir) Up Bars

Robot bartenders are mostly novelties today. But a group of startups is hoping to bring automation to your neighborhood watering hole—and even your home bar

By Leigh Kamping-Carder of The WSJ. If workers are replaced by machines, economists call that structural unemployment. Below I have links to earlier posts on that as well as whether or not automation necessarily increases unemployment. One mentions "Flippy, a robot that turns the burgers and cleans the hot, greasy grill."

"There’s no need to tip the mixologist at the Tipsy Robot, a glittering bar in Las Vegas where automated arms handle all the shaking, stirring, muddling and garnishing, making up to 120 cocktails an hour.

The silver-and-turquoise lounge, in the Miracle Mile Shops mall on the Strip, has 28 counter-style seats, each equipped with a tablet, facing a bar counter topped with two industrial-grade robotic arms. Patrons can order signature and classic cocktails, or fill a virtual cup with up to 14 ingredients of their choosing. Then the robotic arms go to work, gathering ingredients from a kind of futuristic back-bar automat; reaching up to a lattice of 120 liquor bottles; and tipping the resulting cocktail into a plastic cup proffered by a mechanical dispenser in the counter. Drinks take 60 to 90 seconds to make, and cost $12 to $16, said Stephan Mornet, president of Robotic Innovations, Tipsy Robot’s parent company."

"According to manufacturers, robot bartenders are money savers, cutting down on spillage, eliminating employee theft and ensuring consistency. Another selling point is their ability to collect data on drink orders and, when users create profiles to save custom cocktails, on demographics."

"The Smartender, another automated cocktail dispensing system, aims to replace the back-of-house bartender who pours drinks for servers at chain restaurants, casinos and sports stadiums. The system costs roughly $30,000 including shipping, installation and training for employees, an expense that Barry Fieldman of Smart Bar USA, the Las Vegas-based manufacturer, said companies quickly recoup by reducing bar staff and waste."

"Robot bartenders are unlikely to eliminate human bar jobs in the near future, experts say. “The mistake to make is always to think that just because a new piece of automation comes along that the total number of jobs is going to go down,” said Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT and co-founder of the school’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. Crucially, a human needs to be present to verify age and ensure that overly intoxicated patrons are not served."
Related posts:

Reckoning With the Robots

Can the Robot Revolution Create Enough Jobs?

The Robots Are Coming And It Might Not Be A Case of Structural Unemployment  

What Econ 101 Can Teach Us About Artificial Intelligence

Are Robots Going to Steal Our Jobs? Many technologists think so, but economists aren't so easily convinced

Automation Can Actually Create More Jobs

Robot Journalists-A Case Of Structural Unemployment?

Structural Unemployment In The News-Computers Can Now Tell Jokes 

WHAT do you get when you cross a fragrance with an actor?

Answer: a smell Gibson.

Robot jockeys in camel races

Are Computer Programs Replacing Journalists?