You may be scared of robots taking up human jobs, but even you can’t help being fascinated by a robot that does everything you want, in an efficient way.
Your days of waiting in line for your morning coffee are gone. Because now, a robot barista called Cafe X comes enclosed in a large kiosk and serves each coffee in about 20 seconds.
A California-based startup called the Cafe X Technologies has introduced the first robotic cafe capable of making espresso-based beverages. The machine is designed with a Mitsubishi six-axis robot arm. All you need to do is order using the touch screen at the kiosk or through an Android application. Tap your favorite drink, choose from three kinds of beans and flavors, include syrup or not, pay and press ‘order.’
The robot grabs a cup from the dispenser, pours in some syrup, and places it on the espresso machine to pour coffee. In about 20 to 55 seconds, depending on the order, the robot will lower the cup on a hydraulic pedestal. Once it is ready, you have to type in a four-digit pin code which exposes the steaming hot coffee in a white disposable cup.
Although Cafe X is the first robot-based coffee shop in the United States, yet, it is not the first in the world. The same technology has been serving coffee at the Hong Kong Science Park for quite a while now.
What took it so long to get to the US? Paperwork! Yes, the health department could not decide how to classify the cafe, finally labeling it a food truck.
CEO Henry Hu says that now the paperwork is done so, Cafe X can be setup anywhere is no more than half an hour. For now, Cafe X is just coffee, but the future will make it turn out to be much more. Starting at just $2.25, the coffee is surprisingly delicious and costs less than Starbucks.
The CEO believes,
“The art part of coffee is the expertise in creating the beverage, not how well you can repeatedly do it. That is repetition a robot can do.”
The robots come with a high fixed cost. While a few coffee stops at busy locations are okay; the robot barista still needs to prove its worth on a larger scale.
Do you plan to try out the coffee from Cafe X? Comment to let us know!