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As we’ve pointed out here before, the holy grail, the killer app, of robot domestication appears to be robots that can serve drinks. PopSci has posted a piece about former Battlebots competitor Jamie Price and his bartender bot:

A veteran of the TV show Battlebots, Jamie Price has built plenty of destructive machines. But late last year, he designed a robot with a more mellow calling: offering cold beer and cocktails. The result — a masterpiece of plywood, plastic, aluminum and electric motors called Bar2D2 — serves up everything but the sage advice.

The 35-year-old salesman from Nashville modeled his machine on the iconic Star Wars droid R2D2. He took a plastic dome from a bird feeder to use as a head and built the robot’s plywood skeleton to match. To make Bar2D2 mobile, Price stripped out the seat, the control system and a pair of wheels from a used electric wheelchair, added a new 12-volt battery, and wired a receiver to the motor so he could control it using an R/C helicopter-type remote. He also created a system that lets him send drink orders wirelessly from his computer to the robot, which then mixes the spirits to make perfect cocktails.

Bar2D2 proved to be a hit when Price took it to a convention recently, but he isn’t finished yet. Next he’s adding a breathalyzer and LED-backed projector that displays blood-alcohol content. Give me your keys, Obi-Wan.

Drink-Slinging Droid

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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