They may lack a human bartender's conversational skills, but the Makr Shakr certainly does not lack charm. Created by Italian architect Carlo Ratti and engineers at MIT's Senseable City Lab, the Makr Shakr is the world's first robotic bar system, a daring exploration into the dynamics of consumption in the context of sensor and digital fabrication technologies.
Sixty spirits are stored in ceiling-mounted bottles, itself providing for a spectacular sight. Customers place an order through the Makr Shakr, app, choosing from classic cocktails or creating their own. These drinks are then made live by a robotic arm, its movements choreographed by Roberto Bolle, the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. This human input ensures that the Makr Shakr avoids the aggressively sharp action of typical industrial robots that might intimidate customers.
“Makr Shakr is a great example of how digital technologies are changing the interaction between people and products - a topic that our laboratory has been exploring in great depth,” said Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab. “The system explores the new dynamics of social creation and consumption - ‘design, make and enjoy’ - allowing users to design their own cocktail creations, while digitally controlled machines transform these designs into reality. Digital connectivity is not replacing physical interactions, but rather reinforcing them.” Discover more from Makr Shakr.