If the prevailing wisdom of years past were any indication, we should have been up to our necks in sassy, autonomous robot servants a decade ago. While I wait for someone to develop a Rosie to cater to my every whim, the folks behind the Monsieur robotic bartender that took the stage at Disrupt SF 2013, have just recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring its drink-slinging machine to market.
The Monsieur itself is easy enough to use — an Android tablet is nestled within that front facade to give users the ability to choose from a variety of drinks from the catalog (which can also be expanded through additional themes or user recipes). In the event you run low of potables, the Monsieur can also fire off an email or text message to keep the owner abreast of drink levels so they can pop off for a refill. And, because I know you were wondering, you can crank up the strength of your drink using a strength meter — dial it up all the way and there’s a distinct possibility you won’t be able to see straight for much longer.
Now, all that is just peachy, but there’s a much bigger question to tackle here: How do these drinks actually taste? Your mileage is naturally going to vary, but I fixed myself a Screwdriver backstage at Disrupt with the Boss level set smack in the middle and came away rather pleased with the outcome. Over time the Monsieur will also grow accustomed to the nuances of your drinking habits — it can detect when you get home from work and offer you a double, for instance, and it’ll eventually learn how strong you like certain drinks.
While the version that the Monsieur team demoed onstage was a larger model meant for bars, restaurants, and other sizable venues, the big addition today is a Mini version with no built-in tablet and four peristaltic pumps rather than the customary eight. That means you’re going to have to be a bit more judicious with the liquor bottles you load into the thing, though the Monsieur itself will offer recommendations based on what sort of drink theme you’ve chosen. It’s ostensibly meant for home use, and while I’m sure there’s some satisfaction to be had in pouring your own drink at the end of a long day, the ability to remotely order a drink from the Monsieur partner app may ultimately win over some of the lazies among you.
Then again, the price tag may prove to be a bit too steep: early backers can lay claim to a Mini model for $1,499, while the big one can set up in your saloon for $2,299.