As you might expect, we love all forms of technology here at Comms Express; you might even accuse us of being technology geeks.
But even we think you can take technology too far. That’s certainly what crossed our mind when we read about the robot bartender unveiled at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco recently.
Makr Shakr has been serving up cocktails to conference delegates, using three robotic arms to shake, stir and slice according to what is required. The robot makes the specified drink via an app on which users decide what they want.
This curious bit of kit is the work of some very talented people at the Senseable City Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but it’s a dumb idea.
I mean, who wants to go into a bar and order a drink from a robot via an app? That’s not the point of going to a bar at all!
Carlo Ratti of Senseable City Lab says of Makr Shakr, “the system explores the new dynamics of social creation and consumption – design, make and enjoy – allowing users to design their own cocktail creations while digitally controlled machines transform these designs into reality.”
It sounds like Carlo needs to have a G&T and loosen up! We like a gadget or a nifty bit of tech as much as the next geek, but we really can’t see this one catching on, no matter how much the Senseable researchers hope the project will create a “bottom-up bar culture.”
The friendliness or grumpiness of the bartender, the jostling for position at the bar, the banter with who’s serving you… these are all essential ingredients when you go to the bar. We don’t want to be ordering drinks via a smartphone without even having to make contact with another human being. We already spend far too much time on our phone!
In a world where technology can do so many great things, let’s not waste our time trying to phase out things we still want and need. I’d prefer the bar of the future to look like the Cantina scene from Star Wars rather than a soulless robo-bar. Although that said maybe I could do without the indiscriminate killing!
So sorry, MIT, we’re neither shaken or stirred by your idea for a robot bartender… But can we have one for home, please? Like a teasmaid but for the evening when you get home from work and fancy something a little stronger than a cuppa.
I’d be quite happy for a little drinks robot to set up shop in the corner of the lounge and whirr into action when I turn the key in the front door and have a perfectly mixed mojito ready by the time I’d taken my coat off. Or on the evening I fancied that perfectly mixed vodka and lemonade, with just the right amount of ice and a perfectly cut slice! Now that would be a great idea!
Now that’s really useful technology!
Until next time.