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Bartending to go obsolete in post-Covid world? Robots replace humans, will serve cocktails, carve ice for whisky

A robot walks into a bar, helps make a cocktail.

Reuters|
Last Updated: Jun 04, 2020, 05.53 PM IST
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Customers seemed encouraged by the safety the robots provided, though one pointed out a critical quality the robo-bartenders lacked.
Customers seemed encouraged by the safety the robots provided, though one pointed out a critical quality the robo-bartenders lacked. (Representative image)
SEOUL: One robot makes cocktails from 25 bottles hanging upside-down from the ceiling, another carves perfect ice balls in the fraction of the time it takes a human with a knife and an ice pick.

Robo-bartenders are shaking up South Korea's cafe and bar culture as the country transitions from intensive social distancing to what the government calls "distancing in daily life".

And they look snazzy doing it too.

In a tailored vest and bow tie, six-foot-tall Cabo narrates his actions as he carves ice for a whisky on the rocks behind the bar at Coffee Bar K in Seoul.

"Do you see this? A beautiful ice ball has been made. Enjoy some cold whisky," he says in Korean.

Cabo made his debut in 2017, but his presence is particularly reassuring now as the bar looks to encourage customers to return to entertainment facilities after the coronavirus outbreak.

iStock
Robo-bartenders are shaking up South Korea's cafe and bar culture.
Robo-bartenders are shaking up South Korea's cafe and bar culture.

"Since this space is usually filled with people, customers tend to feel very anxious," said Choi Won-woo, a human bartender who assembles the drinks. "I think they would feel safer if the robot makes and serves the ice rather than if we were to do it ourselves."

At the Cafe Bot Bot Bot coffee bar, where the robot arm shakes up mojitos and other cocktails, manager Kim Tae-wan also pointed out that the 'drink bot' can provide a consistent quality to their mixes that human bartenders can't.

Customers seemed encouraged by the safety the robots provided, though one pointed out a critical quality the robo-bartenders lacked.

"It's a little disappointing that you can't talk to the bartenders," said 21-year-old university student Moon Seong-eun.

"One of the good things about going to a bar to drink is that you can chat to them about the drinks or about my worries."

With Flying Taxis And Rolling Robots, CES 2020 Starts On A High Note

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Redefining Tech At CES

7 Jan, 2020
If the Apple event is the curtain call that marks the end of the year in tech, it is the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) that kickstarts the year in technology. For the unversed, the CES is an annual trade show which is organized by Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in Las Vegas, Nevada.At CES, the who’s who from the world of technology come together and present breakthrough technologies for the next 50 years. Every year, innovators come up with pathbreaking technologies at CES and this year was no exception.From flying taxis, toilet paper robots to 8K TVs and 5G laptops, technologies introduced at the four-day trade show that began on January 7, ended up grabbing a lot of eyeballs.Here are some of the most interesting announcements from CES 2020.
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