I’ll be honest; I’m partial to cruise ships. They’re big — confoundingly big — floating cities essentially, with enough spectacle to bewilder and amaze me for the duration of whatever trip I’m on. Plus, what’s not to love about a limitless supply of ice cream?
I’m also a fan of barbots, robotic bartenders. Specifically, I like to test the robot’s abilities at two ends of the drink spectrum: Simple, two-part drinks (gin and tonic, cuba libre) and complex, layered drinks (think Manhattan — the dash of bitters is especially crucial).
So I just might have to save up and book a trip on the MS Quantum of the Seas, a 1,139 foot-long, 168,666 gross tonnage vessel capable of carrying nearly five thousand passengers. Amenities include RFID luggage, floor-to-ceiling “virtual balcony staterooms” that display the weather outside on interior displays, and a craned capsule that lifts riders 300 feet above sea level.
It’s also home to bionic bartenders B1-0 and N1-C. No, really, those are their names. Marketed as the “world’s first robotic bar,” as makers we know that’s simply not true — BarBot has been happening in San Francisco for several years now with many magnificently capable robots tending to human libation requests. But I’ll grant them the title of first robotic bar at sea, until proven otherwise.
Either way these bots are amazing, especially for their movement and grace. The barbots’ builders collaborated with world-class ballet dancer Roberto Bolle to give the bots more human-like movement.
And don’t forget about the math. With 30 spirits to choose from, in addition to 21 mixers, sugar, mint, limes, and lemons, not to mention drink-making methods like muddling, shaking, stirring, and straining, the amount of “create own drink” palatial combinations is nearly limitless — and I want to try them all!
Here’s a video of the barbots in action:
And for those interested, yes you can rent or even buy your own Makr Shakr barbots.