Shaken, not stirred

KUKA robots as bartenders on cruise ships

November 12, 2014

Mixing, shaking and pouring: Two KUKA robots have be serving as bartenders on the deck of the MS Quantum of the Seas cruise ship since November 12th. They take care of the drink orders for about 4,000 passengers in the Bionic Bar from Makr Shakr.

As a technical innovation, the application is integrated into the overall “smartship” concept: The offered services run from a Smart Check-In, to Smart Connect with internet as fast as that on land, through to a round-the-clock jack-of-all-trades: the Smart Concierge wristband.

Once the guests enter the bar, they virtually create their drink via a smartphone or tablet app. The the sky is the limit as far as drink orders go. The robots can execute options ranging from alcoholic to non-alcoholic beverages as well as a full range of combinations.

As soon as the guest’s order has been sent, the KR 5 arc robots get to work. They grip the cocktail mixer, fill it with the desired ingredients, shake it and pour the finished cocktail into the glass. The robot only requires one minute to make two drinks. Their compact design makes the six-axis robots ideal for the bar environment. Thanks to the longest reach in their class as well as their low weight, the robots are practically predestined for use on a cruise ship.

“Makr Shakr is an excellent example of how robot-based automation can change the interaction between humans and products – a topic that we have researched substantially”, says Carlo Ratti, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-founder of Makr Shakr.

The movements of the robot can be seen on a large screen behind the bar and mimic the gestures of Italian choreographer Marco Pelle of the New York Theatre Ballet. The Bionic Bar from Makr Shakr was unveiled on November 12th on board the ship at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New York.

“Makr Shakr is an excellent example of how robot-based automation can change the interaction between humans and products – a topic that we have researched substantially”

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