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Robot’tle Service
your future bartender may come with a twiddly antennae


HK-47 might be serving you a cold one in the near future! Imagine walking into your local bar to order from a robot that listens to your order, computes it, and mixes a drink that leaves you buzzing and satisfied. Mixing a cocktail isn’t rocket science, but robots are here to get the portions right so you don’t have to find out.

Researchers at Bielefeld University in Germany started the JAMES project aiming to develop core cognitive capabilities that would enable a robot to interact with humans in a socially-appropriate manner. They reviewed how drinks are ordered and placed in a “bartending scenario” and assessed that robots can use auditory signals to interpret when a drink request is being made. In the study, the robot is able to greet customers, listen to orders, and react accordingly.

Findings concluded that the Robot only completed the request of patrons whose body position and posture indicated that they wanted to order a drink. If the robot system is confident in the customer's request it will respond by pronouncing: “How can I help you?”. The robot also plays fair by preparing drinks according to who ordered first.

Robots are becoming apart of our day to day routine, whether it’s by making a phone call or heating up food. The JAMES project uses advanced technology to display how socially intelligent behaviours in humans can be displayed in robots as well. The project is set to end in January 2014 and has already made progressive strides towards the future. Hold out for the results, and have a drink in the meantime! Check out this beta-test clip below.