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Shake it! World-class bartender and robot in cocktail duel

Looking for some summer feeling in the cold and grey winter? One of the top acrobat-ic bartenders in the world competes against Makr Shakr, the most advanced system for robotic cocktail-making, powered by KUKA. It’s an extraordinary duel in front of the world-famous Milan Cathedral. Who will succeed in creating the perfect drink?

3 December 2021


Swirling high-proof liquor through the air and elegantly swinging the shaker: Bartender "Toni" has mastered the art of mixing cocktails – and competes in a new video with world-class flair bartender Silvia Daniela Istrate. The special feature: "Toni" is mounted on the counter and has two mechanical arms. He is a fully automated robotic bartender from the Italian company Makr Shakr, consisting of two KUKA KR AGILUS robots. Toni serves fresh drinks to guests, who select their drink via an app – or create their own cocktails. “Making the perfect cocktail is as much about technical skills as it is about ingenuity. Our robotic bartending unit Toni excels on the former. But inventiveness remains a fundamentally human prerogative,” comments Emanuele Rossetti, CEO at Makr Shakr.

 

Robotic bartender Toni: Every movement is real

Now the engineers at Makr Shakr have further developed the bartending robot, with new movements and features that have been put to test for the first time during the duel with Silvia Daniela Istrate. "For this challenge, we accomplished our most ambitious Research & Development leap in acrobatics ever," said Alessandro Incisa, Chief Technology Officer at Makr Shakr: “Our Toni robotic unit can perform an unprecedented sequence of spiral pouring, vertical and horizontal throwing, while deftly handling more than 150 bottles and virtually endless cocktail combinations. Soon, these movements will be performed by Makr Shakr’s robotic bartenders in our bars all around the world. Even before that, you can discover the acrobatics in our video, where everything is real – no computer graphic whatsoever”.

A perfect team: It's the collaboration between human and machine that produces the best drink. © Mark Shakr

No matter where in the world guests visit a Makr Shakr bar, ordering a drink is always very simple: They select their drink via an app. The info is transmitted to the barkeeper robot. As soon as the drink is ready for pickup, the guest is notified via push message. There is also the option to create own drinks via the app. "It's fascinating what our machines are capable of and where they are used around the world. This duel between robots and bartender shows once again that the best result is achieved when the strengths of man and machine complement each other," says Michael Otto, Chief Sales Officer of KUKA Robotics.

A real collaboration between colleagues

The bar system has demonstrated its brand-new skills in front of an equally extraordinary opponent. Silvia Daniela Istrate is one of the best flair bartenders in Europe: in recent years, she has participated in international competitions and won several prizes, including best female bartender at the Roadhouse World Final 2018 and 2019. But a competition at the shaker against a robot was also a new experience for her. "Working with Toni was unbelievable. I wasn’t expecting to feel comfortable in working with a robot, and it’s more than that. It‘s definitely a real collaboration between colleagues ," said Silvia Daniela Istrate.

A breathtaking duel – with a surprising outcome. Because in the end, it's the collaboration between man and machine that produces the best result – or in this case: the perfect drink.

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