Barobot Is A Hackable Cocktail Mixing Robot

We’ve seen cocktail robots before. Specifically, the one we had on stage at Disrupt NY 2013, which goes by the name of Monsieur and aims to automate drinks service.

Fast forward a year, and say hello to Monsieur’s open source rival: Barobot. The Polish makers being this open, hackable automated cocktail machine have taken to Kickstarter to raise £90,000 (~$151,500) in crowdfunds to get their ‘party in box’ plexiglass behemoth to market.

Barobot aims to give you more time to chat with friends by taking the strain out of your drinks mixing, although not off of your counter top, which is going to need to be considerably lengthy to accommodate its 88cm extent.

It’s been designed to hold up to 12 bottles of the hard (or soft) stuff, dispensing the correct shots from each to mix your poison of choice. Which means you’re also going to need a pretty extensive drinks cabinet to get the most out of Barobot. It will apparently have more than 1,000 drinks in its database.

Drinks are selected via a 7-inch Android tablet interface running Barobot’s app. There’s also a companion ‘sofa app’ so users can select their beverage remotely from their phone, without having to stand in line at the machine.

On the machine itself, a weight sensor under the moving drinks-glass platform senses when to dispense each liquid. There’s no mixing or shaking in the automated process — sad to say — but the makers claim the height of the dispensed liquid means drinks mix well, without need for additional agitation (human cocktail bartenders may disagree).

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The Android tablet provides the main processing power for the bot. Elsewhere Barobot uses Arduino-compatible distributed electronics to manage the automation, including 14 microprocessors, various sensors, motors and a series of LEDs. The latter can be controlled by the user to add some additional ambiance to their home party.

Being open hardware, Barobot is open to hacking if you so desire. For instance, its makers suggest adding RFID to identify guests or a proximity sensor so the bot knows when someone is approaching to collect or mix another drink. Or you could make the LEDs dispense coloured judgmental on the particular drink being mixed.

The Barobot can be delivered as a self-assembly kit if you fancy putting all its pieces together yourself. This version is cheaper, as you’d expect. But the machine is a sizeable investment whichever version you shoot for.

The DIY assembly machine will sell for £774 (~$1,300) to a tiny handful of early backers, rising to £949 ($1,600) after that. If you want pre-assembly, the minimum is £1,479 (~$2,500). Custom design assembled kits start at £3,499 (~$5,900).

Assuming team Barobot hits its funding goal in the next 29 days — it has only raised a 1%+ fraction of that thus far so that’s by no means a given — they’re aiming to ship kits and bots to backers in August and September this year.