Selecting ingredients for your Bartendro January 05 2014, 1 Comment

Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Aleta, Rob's partner, and have been a silent supporter of this project for quite some time. I decided it was time to step up my involvement and share some of the insights I've gained while helping demo Bartendro at various events. You'll see more blog posts from me as well as activity in the forums. When reviewing the forums today, I noticed that a few people have mentioned having difficulty with the process of selecting ingredients to load in the bot. I've noticed that the number of drinks on the menu will vary greatly depending on the combination of ingredients I load into the bot, and at times it will offer a surprisingly small number of drink options. With each drink requiring between 2-6 ingredients, it can be difficult to select the right combination to create a menu that is both well-populated and diverse. For this reason, I'm posting a few combinations for Bartendro 7 that we've had success with at various events at the bottom of this entry. Notice that the total number of menu options that the combinations below produce is still just slightly greater than the number of pumps on the bot. While intuitively it seems like a good idea to offer as many options as possible, we have found that as the list of menu options gets longer, people are more likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. They often don't want to read a long list and contemplate their options carefully; they just want a tasty drink quickly so they can return to the party. At Roboexotica in Vienna, Austria I helped serve drinks from the B15 four nights in a row, and many people took a glance at the menu and then asked me (or one of the other human slaves operators) for a drink recommendation rather than reading the entire list. When we're serving a large group, the amount of time it takes to read the list of options and decide can make a big difference in the length of the line waiting for a drink. Once I've selected the ingredients, I tweak the menu further. To increase the diversity of options, I may choose to hide beverages that are nearly identical, and add a few new recipes to the database using the ingredients at hand to add a fun twist. If I am planning on serving drinks to the same group again, I will check the pour totals at the end of the night from the "What's Popular Now?" list to determine which drinks were most popular and cull (hide) some of the drinks that are not popular. Moving forward, we're considering adding a button to pour the most popular drink of the event to help those who get dizzy in the face of so many options. We also have a more sophisticated tool in the works that will create a more personalized experience for admins to help you select ingredients, but that will take more time before it's ready. In the meantime, I hope these tips and the combinations below are helpful to you as you prepare for your next event. Have you found a good ingredient combination for B7 or B15?  Share it in the comments.

Bartendro 7 (B7) drink selection suggestions, ingredients, and menus:

Sweet and Creamy Drinks (16 options)

Baileys, Tequila, Kahlua, Orange Juice, Vodka, Milk, Amaretto

  • Mudslide: Baileys, Vodka, Kahlua
  • Iguana: Vodka, Tequila, Kahlua
  • 2nd Period: Kahlua, Milk, Baileys
  • Screwdriver: Orange Juice, Vodka
  • Baileys & Amaretto: Baileys, Amaretto
  • Black Russian: Kahlua, Vodka
  • Screaming Orgasm: Vodka, Baileys, Kahlua
  • Tequila Screwdriver: Tequila, Orange Juice
  • Brown Cow: Milk, Kahlua
  • Baby Guinness: Kahlua, Baileys
  • Girl Scout Cookie: Baileys, Kahlua
  • Mistofoles: Kahlua, Vodka, Milk
  • White Russian: Vodka, Kahlua, Milk
  • Pure Ecstasy: Vodka, Baileys, Kahlua
  • Blenheim: Vodka, Kahlua, Orange Juice
  • Toasted Almond: Amaretto, Kahlua, Milk

 

Fruity and Tropical Drinks (10 options)

Dark Rum, Grenadine, Tequila, Coconut Milk, Light Rum, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice

  • Saoco: Light Rum, Coconut Milk
  • Tequila Sunrise: Tequila, Orange Juice, Grenadine
  • Rum Screwdriver: Light Rum, Orange Juice
  • Beach Bum: Dark Rum, Pineapple Juice
  • Tequila Screwdriver: Tequila, Orange Juice
  • Pain Killer: Dark Rum, Pineapple Juice, Coconut Milk, Orange Juice
  • Calypso Baby: Pineapple Juice, Light Rum, Grenadine
  • Piña Colada: Coconut Milk, Pineapple Juice, Light Rum
  • Florida Sunshine: Tequila, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine
  • Bahama Mama: Light Rum, Dark Rum, Grenadine, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice

 

A mix of things (14 options)

Baileys, Vodka, Kahlua, Milk, Tequila, Orange Juice, Vodka

  • Mudslide: Baileys, Vodka, Kahlua
  • Black Russian: Kahlua, Vodka
  • Iguana: Vodka, Tequila, Kahlua
  • 2nd Period: Kahlua, Milk, Baileys
  • Tequila Screwdriver: Tequila, Orange Juice
  • Screwdriver: Orange Juice, Vodka
  • Screaming Orgasm: Vodka, Baileys, Kahlua
  • Blenheim: Vodka, Kahlua, Orange Juice
  • Baby Guinness: Kahlua, Baileys
  • Girl Scout Cookie: Baileys, Kahlua
  • Brown Cow: Milk, Kahlua
  • Mistofoles: Kahlua, Vodka, Milk
  • Pure Ecstasy: Vodka, Baileys, Kahlua
  • White Russian: Vodka, Kahlua, Milk

 

Orange-juice centric menu (8 options)

Vodka, Tequila, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Dark Rum, Grenadine, Light Rum

  • Calypso Baby: Pineapple Juice, Light Rum, Grenadine
  • Florida Sunshine: Tequila, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine
  • Bahama Mama: Light Rum, Dark Rum, Grenadine, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice
  • Tequila Sunrise: Tequila, Orange Juice, Grenadine
  • Screwdriver: Orange Juice, Vodka
  • Rum Screwdriver: Light Rum, Orange Juice
  • Beach Bum: Dark Rum, Pineapple Juice
  • Tequila Screwdriver: Tequila, Orange Juice

Roboexotica 2013 December 12 2013, 1 Comment

We finally made it to the infamous Roboexotica in Vienna! The city is a bit chilly this time of year, but it's beautifully decorated in lights and ornaments creating a festive holiday spirit. What better place for serving cocktails from bots? [caption id="attachment_1401" align="aligncenter" width="520"]IMG_2908 Christkindlmarkt[/caption] When we made it to the venue, we were surprised to find that it was smaller than we were expecting. The venue at BarBot in SF was about double the size. Another thing that caught us off guard was that we were supposed to purchase all the booze, whereas at BarBot it was always provided. We were encouraged to ask for tips which would help offset the cost of most, if not all of the booze. Finding all of the ingredients that we typically use was nearly impossible. Things like butterscotch schnapps and sour apple pucker, were non-existent, so our typical line-up was not going to be appearing. We were handed cherry liquor and gin to start us out, so we started improvising and creating new drinks as fast as we could. Thursday was hectic because booze was still arriving while we were setting up, and we seemed to be constantly short on cups, ice or straws. We managed, but knew we would have to prepare better for the following days. Friday and Saturday were insanely busy! We beat our previous records for drinks dispensed, serving over 300 cocktails in one night. Things went a lot smoother once it was all hands on deck. Aleta, Max, Rob and I were all talking to the crowds and restocking whatever was missing. Oliver (Marc Shrank), one of our Kickstarter backers from Germany even came out to visit and helped us for several of the days. Fortunately, there were enough snippets of time for all of us to be able to check out the rest of the bots and sample their tasty concoction. There were two other bots from the US, one made by Rich Gibson from California, and one by Ryan Finnigan of Colorado. A full listing can be found here. The exhibition packed an aggressive schedule, starting at 4pm everyday and ending at 1am, but we usually didn't leave until around 4am.

The interactivity and creativity of the bots was very amusing. One bot had you insert a set of tubes into your mouth, while your opponent did the same, and with fake guns fire at each other's sensor; the winner got booze, the loser straight lemon juice. There was a Minecraft video game that dispensed drinks if you activated certain things within the game, a bowling game, and a bot that dispensed booze from a bird perched on a branch if you tweeted about it. My personal favorite for sheer monstrosity and complexity was the Robomoji which only made mojitos. It had ice crushing and fresh lime squeezing features which were impressive. It also dispensed fresh mint and cane sugar, muddled them, and dispensed soda at the end. A behemoth that's been in the works for 12 years! Check out the bot making a drink.

Overall, Bartendro 15 was very well received and we gave at least four interviews. The bot was packed in a cardboard box and it was checked in as luggage with no oversize or overweight fees. It survived both ways, and so did we. The event, although exhausting, was tremendously fun and educational. We made over a thousand drinks in the four days we were there, and were even net positive after counting the tips. I'd like to say we'll make it next year, but we shall see, we'll have to make a more creative entry next time. At the award ceremony, Johannes presented us with an award for "the proliferation of cocktail robotics."  Thanks to all who came, organized, hosted, helped, supported, drank and tipped!

[caption id="attachment_1376" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2749 The Venue[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1396" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2854 B15 tending to thirsty visitors[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1395" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2812 LayerBot - Makes a layered Kahlua, Bailey's, and Cointreau[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1394" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2810 The Time Machine - flings you back in time where your only hope to get back is by making a drink.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1393" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2795 Dead Donny's Drunken Bowling[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1392" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2792 Twitt Shitter - poops a baby blue shot upon tweeting to it, or following it on twitter.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1391" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2793 Shoot 'n Shot - shoot your opponent with a quick draw and get a shot.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1390" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2789 Robomoji - A Rube Goldberg-esque contraption that makes wonderful mojitos.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1389" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2786 Minecraft Cocktailbot[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1388" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2785 Outside of the Time Machine[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1387" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2782 Amalettomat - Makes tasty crépes and fills them with Nutella or cinnamon/sugar.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1386" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2781 PistonBot - Makes strange noises while dispensing your booze.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1385" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2780 BunnyBot - poops peanuts for you.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1384" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2778 The Smell of Defeat - play rock paper scissors with a bot.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1383" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2765 Decisions decisions.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1381" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2763 Barwin - uses an evolutionary algorithm to serve better drinks over time.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1380" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2760 Underneath Cock's Bar[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1379" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2759 Cock's Bar - dispenses dry ice to insta-chill every drink that's made.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1378" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2753 Rob getting interviewed for Austrian TV.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1377" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2750 MELMACC - now accepting bitcoins![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1397" align="alignleft" width="520"]IMG_2880 The Award Ceremony. (Johannes never stands still)[/caption]  


The Wonderful World of Drink Bots February 08 2013, 3 Comments

Ever since the first cocktail was poured people have been searching out ways to do it faster and with better accuracy. Millions of dollars are spent every year on the newest bartending gadget or gizmo. Then, when robot technology started to become more accessible people began tinkering with the idea of creating a robotic bartender. We’ve seen them in movies, but how close are we to actually having one at home to make us that perfect drink? Well, probably a lot closer than you think. Party Robotics has been working hard for the last five years to bring a simple, fun robot that dispenses delicious cocktails into the mainstream marketplace. However, we’re not the only ones out there creating bartending robots. Let’s take a look at what else is available in the world of drink bots.
RoboBar
In the commercial world you really only have few options. One is the RoboBar, manufactured by MotoMan. With a pricetag of $160,000 this behemoth of a bot is not exactly feasible for home bar enthusiasts. RoboBar is serious about giving people the robot bartender experience and comes equipped with a lifesize robot; dressed in a tux and featuring a male or female personality. This bot is not designed to assist bartenders, but replace them, touting that it can “work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without breaks, vacations, holidays, or sick time (or hangovers).”
The Virtual Bartender
Another bot that is available to purchase right now is the Virtual Bartender from Digital Beverages. This is a bot for those with money to spend and the space to set it up. The Virtual Bartender weighs in at 350 pounds, is about the size of a large dishwasher and requires a drain, and hot/cold water line connections. Much like the RoboBar, The Virtual Bartender has a LCD touch screen and can deliver a wide range of drinks, boasting it can hold up to 32 different ingredients. Adding one of these bots to your home will set you back between $5,800 - 7,500. The InebriatorNext we get into the world of diy bots which are not available for purchase at this time. The first is The Inebriator. You may have heard of this guy as he gathered up a bit of publicity on the interwebz back in September of last year. The Inebriator is an Arduino powered cocktail machine created in the UK by Ian Cooper and Jake Osborne. The bot holds nine liquor bottles upside down on the upper level and stashes its mixers in a custom cooler down below. Any mixers need to be moved from their original bottles into plastic containers which have been plumbed with two pipes, one leading to a gas tank and the other to a valve. Drinks are ordered from a special controller box and a glass then moves under the bottles along a conveyer belt. The bot can dispense a drink in about 30 seconds, depending on how many ingredients it contains.
Another bot which is quite similar to The Inebriator is MELMACC. This cocktail dispensing machine was built by Oliver Höftberger, Robert Neuner, and Michael Mueller. The bot also utilizes the conveyer belt design, though does not have a gas tank or separate cooler box for mixers. Instead the mixers sit in their own special containers next to the alcohol. Drinks are also a bit slow to come from MELMACC, clocking in at about 40 seconds. There are several other fun little speciality bots out there which make appearances at events such as Roboexotica and BarBot. There is Layerbot which uses peristaltic pumps to create layered shots, Robomoji that crafts mojitos, and SoBEaR, the breathalyzer/booze dispensing teddy bear. As you can see there are lots of projects and attempts at delivering an amazing robot bartender to the masses. Our own creation, Bartendro, is going to be making its debut on Kickstarter soon and we’re hoping that it will meet all of your home bar needs. The newest models are lightweight and can easily be carried by one person, uses peristaltic pumps to give the most accurate drinks possible, delivers those drinks in less than 10 seconds, has an interactive user interface which can be run off your smartphone or tablet, is easy to clean, and most importantly makes delicious precision cocktails (or crazy custom juice creations). If you want to check it out in person we’re going to be at Robogames’ annual BarBot event in San Francisco on March 1st and 2nd. Come on down and let our bot get you drunk!!