Robotics is becoming the talk of the day. We have robotic dragonfly, jellyfish and many other exciting developments. The possibilities with robotics are endless. Believe it or not, they have already taken over industry because of their efficiency and the technological advancement that science is making every minute that passes by. However, there is a certain ‘gap’ between robotics and common people. Perhaps they see it as an ‘alien’ thing which they cannot own or don’t have access to. Robots have been helping out industry for quite some time now. Car industry owes a great deal to robotics for their recent rise in success and bank balance. MIT’s Senseable City Lab is where a certain robot, Makr Shakr, was designed while the designing and implementation goes to Carlo Ratti Associati in Italy, where the actual creation took place.
From conceptual stage to functional form in roughly three months, this speedy development is surely an achievement on the hardworking team’s part. So what is Makr Shakr? It is basically your friendly neighborhood robotic bartender which is capable of setting up drinks of your choice. The robot was displayed at Google I/O after party. The robot weighs 5-6 metric tons and was brought via sea in a shipping container. The robot beats all other robotic bartenders as far as advanced robotics is concerned. Users will be required to download an app which can be used to access the robot. Now to “how it works” corner; the user will have access to already existing drink templates or they could create their own drinks . As of now, Makr Shakr has joined hands with Coca Cola and Bacardi, the result of which is simple; two dozen spirits and liqueurs and more than hundred non-alcoholic drinks to select from. Or the user can select the ingredients and quantity of each and make up drinks of 200 ml, afterwards, one may select how they want their drinks prepared; stirred but not shaken.
We will try to keep the next part simple; your order information is basically sent to web server from where it gets transferred to local server on the bot. The Makr Shake divides it into two parts; one is for visualization where the robot displays what’s going on with your drink and the second part goes to the robot’s systems which gets to work to prepare your order. Looking at Makr Shakr,you’lll notice three distinct arms; Kuka KR 16 robots. These are the symbols of industrial revolution and are generally found in paint factories. They are capable of lifting 16 kg, move very fast and have a precision of 0.1 mm. The exterior arms are equipped with cocktail shakers while the inner arm is used for holding the cup and delivering it via conveyor belts. The Makr Shakr is not very fine when it comes to setting up drinks but seeing that its only three months old, it is still quite a decent drink maker. The software is an amazing one and can very easily keep track of alcohol any customer is ordering and using this alcohol consumption can be controlled. Alessandro Incis, Project Manager from Carlo Ratti Associati said; ‘We want to make sure people use the Makr Shakr to drink responsibly. It keeps track of the alcohol by volume of each drink it serves you. It could limit the number of alcoholic drinks each person has in a night.’ Makr Shakr is not intended to replace bartenders but rather to help people get familiarized with robotics and what they are capable of doing. Yaniv Jacob Turgeman, the project leader (MIT) said; ‘Part of the idea is that anyone can control this powerful technology with something in their pocket.’ Let’s see what the future holds for this robot that is for sure a wonderful piece of engineering.