Robofun, which bills itself as the largest open-source hardware store in Romania, has built a robotic bartender called The Social Drink Machine. It takes its inspiration from another recently created "botender," The Inebriator, which the team at Robofun felt could be improved with a social media interface. They built their own robot from scratch in just 10 days and added Facebook and Twitter apps that let you order drinks from a mobile phone.
All you have to do is scan a QR code near the robot, and you'll be whisked to a Facebook app that lets you choose a drink. If you'd prefer, you can tweet "gimme drinks @socialdrinkbot" to access the Twitter app. Then you plop down your glass on a holding tray, and the Arduino-powered robot does the rest. An even earlier robotic bartender, built at the University of Saarland in 2006, could take your order using speech recognition.
Sure, it's a bit too slow to replace human bartenders, but that's not really the point. The team created the robot to demonstrate what they can do. According to Viorel Spinu, the CEO and founder of Robofun, the Social Drink Machine is being leased for corporate events, and they're building an enhanced version for a local beverage brand. They have no plans to market it. You can watch it doing its thing in the following video.
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