SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A coffee bar in San Francisco is preparing for the debut of a new version of its robot barista serving up drinks with personality.
KPIX 5 got a sneak peek of the new robot and talked to the company’s CEO about what the automated barista means for jobs in the industry.
The newest version of robot barista at Cafe X is named “Robin” and is set to make its debut Tuesday. The more advanced robot can make coffee beverages quickly — three drinks in just 40 seconds — and serves them up with a little bit more personality.
The robot is a major feature at the first robotic coffee bar in the world serving nitrogen-infused cold brew. Its creators say this second-generation machine serves up coffee with a shot of charm.
“We teamed up with the design firm Ammunition,” said Cafe X Community Manager Sam Blum. “We wanted to add a few different tricks to it in addition to the wave. There’s the ‘Ta-da!’ and the ‘Voila!'”
Cafe X customers seemed to love the robot experience.
“That’s where robots are going, right? They have personality,” said Cafe X customer Rob Anderson. “It’s just adding a level of theatrics to what is normally a mundane process. You get your coffee. Someone misspells your name and you get it at the end.”
“I was a little skeptical of the process at first. I thought it would be like a Keurig, but it actually produces much better coffee than I expected,” said customer Andrew Broz.
Cafe X CEO Henry Hu said human staffers are very important in the robotic coffee bar experience. The employees work as coffee and operations specialists. Two product specialists are also always on hand to help you pick your perfect drink.
“The dream experience, if you were to go in a high end cafe, you want to be really impressed with the coffee,” said Hu. “But usually baristas are too busy making coffee. We’re able to deliver that experience working with robots.”
This latest version of the automated cafe server is the second robot barista for Cafe X here in the Bay Area.