A robot bartender sounds like something out of the Jetsons to some. But the future is now, and there are plenty of ways to get your mechanical mixing on. There are a handful of automated bartenders already in use, built for both entertainment or utilitarian purposes. Some are homemade projects using household items. Others are expensive machines typically built for bars and businesses. SirMixABot captures the sweet spot that includes high functionality and a hands-on device. And best of all, it does so without the excessive cost of most commercial products. Let’s take a look at some of the robot bartender approaches and see where SirMixABot stands among them.
The Flashy, Commercial-Use Robot Bartender
If you’re lucky you may see one of these mechanical masterpieces in person. More likely is that you’ll see them on YouTube or in photos. These robotic barkeeps typically employ one or two robotic arms designed to combine and mix ingredients to make specified cocktails, and deliver them to a waiting customer or to a conveyor belt system. Makr Shakr is a popular a two-armed variant. It constructs cocktails from up to 160 bottled sources, and delivers them complete with garnishes, ice, etc. These mechanical bartenders are for commercial use, and installations cost tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. They are found in Las Vegas clubs and even on cruise ships. A lot of the same technology, including the bottle dispensers and conveyor belts, are found on SirMixABot. This brings a lot of the same entertainment along with some hands-on interaction to your home.
The Homemade Hack Job
There is certainly nothing wrong with a little innovation. However, when a lot of fit and finish is sacrificed along the way, some of the novelty can be lost. There are many, many homemade cocktail mixing machines in existence. Most of them cannot be found online or on forums. The ones that are visible seem to share one common motivation: get the job done. They’re not always pretty, but they are packed with creativity and personal touches. BarBot.us captures a ton of user creations and shares a lot of their findings. These products showcase a lot of interesting findings from artistic tips about LED lighting and sound effects to programming tips on liquid distribution and component interfaces. As they are not intended for mass production they sometimes have loose panels and looping tubes, but the DIY spirit is there 100%.
The DIY Polished Product: SirMixABot
SirMixABot combines the novelty of having a unique cocktail mixed in front of your eyes with the hands-on appeal of a DIY kit. And it does so at a reasonable price. We build a product that you can get your hands on (and even customize) by utilizing affordable yet reliable components and materials. Manufacturing of the enclosure combines form and function, with pieces available in different finishes designed to snap right into place.
Other parts including the drink conveyor and bottle dispenser are inspired by other homemade systems. Plus, we are always open to suggestions for future options and revisions to our robot bartender. The wireless interface allows users (aka drinkers) to order their own cocktails based on what liquor and liquid combination is in place. Additionally, we want to hear about new mixed drinks. The mobile app and bar have the ability to add new recipes based on user contributions. SirMixABot is designed to bring together the drinkers and the tinkerers at an affordable cost.