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]