Meet Barney the Robot Bartender
November 26, 2019 | Design Thinking
by ExperiencePoint

In our last post, we looked at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), restaurants and consumer needs. Karakuri has been developing robots that can better fulfill the demands of both restaurant patrons and restaurateurs by focusing on consistency and precision in food preparation. F&P Robotics has also thrown its hat into the hospitality AI ring; the company debuted an exciting new product at the most recent HostMilano.

HostMilano is a restaurant hospitality show in Milan that recently attracted 2,250 vendors and 200,000 attendees, according to Fast Casual.

That’s a wildly impressive attendance rate for a restaurant conference. HostMilano dwarfed the National Restaurant Association show (the largest in the U.S.) by 140,000 attendees.

Among the standouts of the show was F&P Robotics’ cocktail-making robot, Barney.

F&P Robotics specializes in robots designed to improve everyday life. According to their company website, F&P has three products currently available: P-Rob (a robot arm with a grip designed for multiple applications); Lio (a mobile robot with a functional arm designed to help with repetitive tasks and support everyday activities); and Barney (a complete robot bartender).

What can I get for you?

Barney is a full-service bar with a robot arm that can make a wide selection of drinks. Sleek and easy to transport and install, Barney has a circular bar area equipped with slots for liquor bottles and soda attachments. Customers to order and pay on his touch-screen.

F&P Robotics came up with Barney by asking how they could reduce costs and attract customers in restaurants, hotels and bars. Early trials proved successful; the robot arm cuts down on waste and salary costs, while putting on a pretty captivating show.

Similar to Karakuri, Barney uses machine learning to measure out precise quantities. When a robot is calling the shots, there are no more heavy pours or dawdling, chatty bartenders. The establishment is confident that no alcohol is wasted while customers are served quickly: Barney makes 120 drinks an hour. Consistency, showmanship and cost savings are the name of the game.

Barney is yet another example of the way technology and human-centered design can work together to drive innovation in ways that delight customers. AI expands the horizons of technological possibility, while design thinking brings everything back to the customer’s point of view. Together, as Karakuri and F&P prove, these approaches can be a powerful boost in today’s hospitality industry.

Read more about the intersection of AI and design thinking in our post: When AI and Design Thinking Collide

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