Barney the Swiss robot bartender changes the gastronomy industry with its automatic drink mixing

First introduced in April this year at the Barney Cocktail Bar of the Swiss F&P Robotics Company in Zurich, Switzerland, the fully automated robot bartender took the gastronomy industry by storm and wowed the public with its cocktail mixing abilities and cheeky jokes.

Although there were a few skeptics at first regarding the success of “The Barney Bar” in the long run, time has shown that this won’t just be a pandemic fad. Barney might be here for good, fancy restaurants and bars seeing beyond the fact that it’s a solution to limit human interaction while the COVID-19 pandemic is still unfolding. Experts in the gastronomy industry have looked beyond this and realized that an extra hand for the bartender never hurts. Especially one that draws more attention to the venue, having folks coming in to listen to a few bad jokes about Terminator executed by a robot and have their drinks prepared in the most ingenious manner possible.

Studies conducted by RobotoID regarding the impact robotic devices have on industries and individuals alike highlight that this is the natural evolutionary step. After all, automation is constantly growing to make life easier. Robot vacuums and mops are old news by now, so are robot dogs that offer a different type of companionship for people who lack the energy or time to deal with a real-life pet. A robot bartender wasn’t that big of a surprise for those who study automation. By now, it's common knowledge that with most services, people will be replaced or at least accompanied by mechanical devices.

We can’t say what the gastronomy industry will look like in a few years, but we are convinced robotics will play a part” – Grey Colombo, Chief Sales Officer at the Swiss F&P Robotics Company

What can the ingenious robotic bartender do?

Using your mobile phone, you pick one of the 16 different spirits and 8 sodas it can mix, or choose to have a beer or Prosecco. The robotic arm can reach the undercounter ice machine to have your whisky on the rocks if that is how you like it, so you will feel like a futuristic James Bond since your drink is prepared neat and mean by a machine. It even tells bad jokes that are bound to put you in a good mood even if you hit the bar after a heartbreak.

When the robot bartender is done preparing your drink of choice or getting your beer from the fridge, a notification will appear on a large video display screen just above the bar, in plain sight, so that you know to pick up your drink. Afterward, it will disinfect its robotic arm to avoid spoiling the taste of the next drink and impede contamination of any sort, for that matter. This is the list of things Barney can do at the moment for clients, but its capabilities will improve with software updates or when newer versions appear.

Is Barney really that good?

Barney might not be as speedy as the bartenders are at the places you frequent, but it’s rapid enough. What differentiates the robot from humans the most is the lack of mistakes. Inevitably, a bartender might mismatch quantities when it comes to alcohol and other ingredients in your drink. If you’re a pretentious drinker, you won’t be too pleased by this. On the other hand, Barney won’t make any mistake since it is set to pour specific amounts depending on the drink you order. Therefore, two glasses of Cuba Libre won’t differ in taste from each other at all.

How much does the robot bartender cost?

Hotel, bar, and restaurant owners might have taken a substantial hit because of the ongoing pandemic situation, true. But these people are always smart when it comes to investments. They think ahead and take calculated risks. This is why, although Barney the robot bartender costs a bit over $130,000, there are venues that have acquired it (venues in China and Oman are already using it).

The asking price is steep, let’s face it. However, the investor is bound to get their money back since, unlike a human bartender who needs a break, food, and hydration, Barney doesn’t. It can work 24/7 and doesn’t even need a helping hand with sanitization since it does it on its own after preparing each drink. What more could you ask from a worker in the service industry? Nothing!

Is Barney the bartender a permanent stay?

Yes, all signs point to Barney (and other robot bartenders that will be developed down the road by different companies) staying for good. The price tag makes this robot a viable choice only for high-end venues at the moment, but in time, with new models emerging, the cost of acquiring an automated bartender is bound to drop a bit and become accessible for more places.

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