Technology

Robot bartender serves up crowd-sourced cocktails

Image caption The plan is to create a "bottom-up bar culture" where crowd-sourcing and social media play a role in the drinks served

Tom Cruise may famously have taken the role of barman in the film Cocktail but now there could be an even more impressive mixologist in town.

Makr Shakr will be serving cocktails to delegates at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week.

It consists of three robotic arms which mimic the actions of a bartender from shaking a martini to slicing a lemon.

The robots are linked to an app which allows users to create their own cocktails from scratch.

"Makr Shakr is a great example of how digital technologies are changing the interaction between people and products," said Carlo Ratti, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Senseable City Lab, which directed the project.

"The system explores the new dynamics of social creation and consumption - 'design, make and enjoy' - allowing users to design their own cocktail creations, while digitally controlled machines transform these designs into reality."

Image caption There is no indication of how fast the robots can mix a cocktail

The team behind the project hope to create a "bottom-up bar culture", allowing users to learn from each other by sharing drink recipes and photos.

The robots' movements were modelled on the gestures of Roberto Bolle, a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.

The project was completed in collaboration with the Coca-Cola company and Bacardi.

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