Cruise Ship Robot Bartenders Provoke Questions About Work And Play
by Michael Keller
A thirsty vacationer on Royal Caribbean’s next cruise ship, the Quantum of the Seas, will belly up to a bar staffed by robots. The company announced this month that it is installing the Makr Shakr bartending system on the ship, which is expected to set sail starting in late October.
Guests will be able to choose drinks from a tablet at the bar and customize them as they see fit. Once the order is submitted, the Bionic Bar’s robot arms will spring to action, producing a precise and consistent drink.
“We were determined to take the best advances in modern technology, turn them into shipboard WOWs, and take the frustration out of the vacation,” said Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain in a statement.
The Makr Shakr project was conceived and designed at MIT’s Senseable City Lab. According to the artists and engineers behind it, the robot is more than just a bartending automaton. Instead, it is meant to open a discussion and explore the role of advanced manufacturing, consumption and leisure—three things that are set to change with increasing deployment of automated systems.