Recently we’ve been hearing a lot about robotics. Robotic vacuums, industrial robots, robots working in the field of science. What we haven’t heard about are robotic bartenders. This week, cruise ship company Royal Caribbean International announced that it has partnered with Makr Shakr to create the world’s first ‘bionic bar’ aboard its new smart ship, Quantum of the Seas.
Guests can place drinks orders via tablets and then watch as robotic bartenders mix their cocktails. Each robot can produce one drink per minute and up to 1000 drinks per day. The bionic bar is just one of the many high-tech features of Quantum of the Seas, which claims to be the most technologically advanced cruise ship in the world. In the entertainment venue, Two70, six ‘roboscreens’ stage surprise performances during every cruise, creating scenes while soaring and twisting.
The Quantum’s robotic bartenders were created by Makr Shakr, a company affiliated with the Massachusetts of Technology. The robotic arms represent 41,600 hours of work. The robots have surprisingly fluid movement. The motions of their arms are based on the gestures of Roberto Boile, principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater. They also pause from mixing and shaking periodically to do a little dance number. They are preloaded with 30 spirits and 21 mixers, as well as a range of garnishes to choose from. There are limits to what the robot bartenders can do. They can’t, for instance, handle olives for martinis yet. Occasionally the robots have experiences some malfunctioning, like serving up a couple of empty cups or spilling stuff, but they haven’t thrown a drink at any passengers.
The Quantum’s Two70 multimedia theatre is the other robot team. It can seat 540 people on multiple levels. It’s name comes from the 270 degree floor-to-ceiling glass walls that rise to the height of three decks and turn into a wraparound screen. The highlight of the performance are a set of robotic arms with screens that move around in a choreographed sequence along with performers. This venue offers the most complex and technologically advanced video projection entertainment system at sea, if not the world. Royal Caribbean has already ordered the robot bartenders and Two70 for their other cruise ship, the Anthem. A week on the cruise will cost $1,084 per person. The Quantum of the Seas is currently on its maiden voyage from Southampton to Bayonne, New Jersey.