In case you want your drink to be served with fantastic precision by a bartender that doesn’t like chattering the clients, then Carl is the “man” you are looking for!
A guy walks into a bar and faints after seeing that the bartender is a robot. That’s a joke, but not entirely. Apparently there is a bar in Ilmenau, eastern Germany, where the bartender does not have blood running through his veins, but electric current running through its circuits.
The bar is aptly called Robots Bar and Lounge, while the bartender has a more human-like name: Carl. Mechatronics engineer Ben Schaefer designed and built this humanoid robot so that he (I refuse to call a robot “it”) does not only fill the glasses, but also mixes drinks and entertains the customers.
There are only 9 places at the bar, and considering that people come from far-far away to see this amazing barman, you will probably have to book a seat way in advance. The “problem” with Carl is that he also engages in small-talk, something some of us would have preferred to be omitted. His vocabulary and speech are limited, at the moment, mostly because his speech recognition is not optimal.
According to Ben Schaefer, it would have been a lot more difficult to asses Carl’s behavior in a laboratory. That is exactly why the designer of the robot bartender chose a real-world scenario for Carl, to see exactly what features need to be improved.
Carl has great care when handling the glasses. Besides, he does not work alone, as there also are a couple of other bartenders that interact with him. Sometimes, customers will get to see the robot bartender helping the other employees to prepare cocktails, while other times, he does the job on his own. One thing is certain, though: Carl will be extremely precise when mixing cocktails, and will use the exact amounts of ingredients.
I just hope that Carl isn’t as clumsy as my all-time favorite bartender – Maurice Moss from The I.T. Crowd. Check out the following video to see what I mean. If you haven’t already, please, please, please watch this British series, as it’s one of the best ever for geeks, by geeks.