There are robots to vacuum your floor and to manufacture your car, and now computer science students at Haifa’s Technion- Israel Institute of Technology have developed a robot bartender who will mix cocktails for you.
The students did not say whether the robot greeted customers with “Le’haim!” Michal Friedman, Yoav Mizrahi and Zorik Gechman, under the guidance of Prof. Yossi Gil, took on the challenge as part of a course for Arduino programming systems.
Arduino is an open-source computer hardware and software company, project and user community that designs and manufactures kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world.
“It’s really an automatic barman,” explained Friedman. “It knows how to mix drinks from among a built-in list and prepare cocktails it created by itself. We built a machine with room for eight bottles – three kinds of juice and five types of alcohol.
“The choice of cocktails is made through the applications we developed. When a glass is placed at the end of the line, the robot prepares the drink within seconds according to the exact recipe,” she said.
“We created everything from scratch,” added Gechman. “This is a project that integrates both hardware and software.
We dealt with electronic components and electrical circuits, wrote a program for the Arduino processes and developed an application that connects with it via Bluetooth on the basis of recipes that are stored on the computer ‘cloud,’” he said.
The team worked intensively on the bartender robot project for three months, said Mizrahi.
“We are software people, but to carry out the project, we taught ourselves how to build the robot. We read a lot on the Internet and coped with many challenges.”
The students consulted many experienced human barmen who recommended popular alcoholic beverages.
“They were very excited and liked the robot,” said Friedman. “They said they would be happy if we installed the robot at their bars.”
The course for Arduino programming is being carried out in cooperation with Microsoft R&D and makes it possible for students to use innovative technologies and programs during their studies, including smartphones and tablets for running applications.