Could Robot Baristas be Coming to Portland?
If you’ve ever paid careful attention to the person making coffee at a mass market coffeehouse like Starbucks, you’ve probably contemplated the prospect of the entire process being taken over by robots. The problem has been that the robot systems being demonstrated at various robotic shows have been awkward and slow.
Now, those problems are being eliminated, and Cafe X has officially opened in San Francisco. Check out this video.
I don’t see robots taking over your local Barista anytime soon, as a lot of calibration takes place between bean sources, weather, etc., but perhaps it is just a matter of time before these issues are worked out. According to Cnet, “Cafe X isn’t out to make humans obsolete. Indeed, its cafes employ people to help customers place orders and figure out which local roaster they want supplying beans — in San Francisco, a choice of AKA Coffee from Oakland, Verve Coffee Roasters from Santa Cruz and Peet’s Coffee from Berkeley. And people will be employed to clean the equipment daily and resupply milk and other ingredients.”