There are many people who enjoy sipping on fancy cocktails, but putting together drinks of such sophistication involves a certain expertise, a cabinet's worth of ingredients and a fair slice of your time. Wanting to make this life of luxury a little more accessible, the team behind the Somabar have produced a robotic bartending machine that spits out craft cocktails at the push of a button.
The Somabar measures 19 x 11 x 15 in (48 x 28 x 38 cm) and looks much like a regular countertop appliance. Three canister-like containers called Soma pods are plugged in on either side of the machine, storing liqueurs, bitters and other ingredients of choice. These are detachable and dishwasher safe, while the Somabar itself is cleaned by an internal flushing system that kicks in every time a new drink is ordered.
The Somabar connects to the user's iOS or Android device over Wi-Fi, with a companion app then serving as the control panel for mixing drinks. This may include recommendations based on the ingredients already in the Soma pods, or suggestions for the addition of new ones to expand the menu. The developers say that from pressing the button in the app to having your cocktail glass brimming with a perfectly mixed cocktail takes less than five seconds. Users can also determine the strength of their cocktails, keep tabs on ingredient levels and share favorites recipes with an online community.
The craftsmanship required by the art of mixology has seen numerous robots designed specifically to tackle the task, with the Inebriator, the Bartendro and the Makr Shakr just a few of the concepts to emerge. But between the robotic arms, complex dispensing systems and moving pedestals, these perhaps don't have quite the same consumer focus. The Somabar may resemble more a vending machine than a robot, but its developers are hopeful that they can put craft cocktails into more hands with a device that wouldn't look out of place wedged between your coffee machine and toaster.
It should be noted that the Somabar won't produce chilled drinks, so you'd need some ice on hand to really fulfill its potential. The company says that building in this function would drive up production costs and ultimately result in an unsatisfactory price point.
It is looking to raise US$50,000 on Kickstarter to fund the first production run, where early pledges of $399 will have one sent your way in July 2015 if everything goes as planned. Colors options are blue, red, orange and grey.
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