Bionic Bartenders With a Human Touch

Bots behind the bar combine the efficiency of technology with the human grace of dancing
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Their names are B1-0 and N1-C and they’re unlike any bartender who has ever served you before. They can whip up a classic martini, long island iced tea or cosmopolitan faster than you ever thought possible, all while putting on a show. They bring the experience of ordering drinks at a bar to a whole new level – just don’t expect them to listen to your troubles.

B1-0 and N1-C are robots. These bionic bartenders will be exclusively serving guests onboard Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s newest tech savvy cruise ship.

While the technology will impress guests, how can the human touch be felt through what some may see as a mechanical process? “We looked at the robots and saw very fast and rapid movements, but we thought that the motions of the robots must be something done with grace and harmony,” said Alessandro Incisa, a project manager for Makr Shakr, the Italian-based company that created the technology.

To address that challenge, the Makr Shakr team turned to the art of dance and collaborated with Roberto Bolle, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre in New York and La Scala in Milan. With Bolle’s guidance, they’ve been working on a series of dances that require a lot of choreography. “We actually developed this new movement so the robots appear human, and they look beautiful while they dance and move around.”

Could this be a glimpse into the future where robots eventually take over human jobs? Definitely not, according to the Makr Shakr team – in fact they require a lot of support staff, potentially creating jobs. “Robots do not replace bartenders. We have a series of staff and crew that must follow up on the product all the time. There are also human servers in the room that deliver drinks if a guest prefers table service,” said Incisa

So, how will guests know whether they’re getting a male or female server at Bionic Bar? Your guess is as good as Incisa’s. “There’s actually no way to tell!”

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