Chinese Company Launches Humanoid Barista Robot

Could your local hipster coffee joint soon replace tattoos and facial hair for machinery?
Chris Young

A Chinese robotics firm, OrionStar, has launched the Robotic Coffee Master, which it describes as "a humanoid robot barista that simulates master-level brewing techniques and guarantees a refined taste in every cup."

The robot's impressive coffee-making technique is the result of 3,000 hours of AI learning, and 30,000 hours of robotic arm testing and machine vision training. 

Chinese Company Launches Humanoid Barista Robot
Source: OrionStar


Your new robot barista

The Robotic Coffee Master is able to perform complex brewing techniques, including curves and spirals with millimeter-level stability and accuracy thanks to its thousands of hours of machine learning.

According to Robotics & Automation News, the robot's key features include an RGB depth camera that provides real-time monitoring of the robot's arms as well as the condition of the beverage. A light indicator displays the work status of the robot, which has a self-adjusting mechanical clamp with a grasping claw to easily move objects.

Chinese Company Launches Humanoid Barista Robot
Source: OrionStar

Its safety features include an emergency shut-off, anti-collision detection, and electronic safety borders to prevent work accidents. OrionStar's Arm OS, meanwhile, allows for customization and quick deployment.

In an "almost" post-COVID-19 world, the benefit of having a robot brew your flat white, cappuccino, cortado — or whatever your caffeine-infused desire is — is that it reduces human contact as the entire process is carried out by the machine.

Chinese Company Launches Humanoid Barista Robot
Source: OrionStar

"The Robotic Coffee Master can churn out a fresh brew of pour-over coffee every 3 minutes and can work at full capacity 24/7," said OrionStar Vice President Liang Su, via Robotics & Automation News.

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"It is a perfect contactless solution for high-traffic areas such as airports and business districts," he continued.

Freeing humans from 'repetitive labor'

At the Robotic Coffee Master's global launch event in Beijing, OrionStar collaborated with 351-year-old traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy Tong Ren Tang, to offer fusion coffee drinks with traditional medicinal health benefits.

As OrionStar vice president Ting Li pointed out, the "AI-driven Robotic Coffee Master can free human baristas and nutritionists from repetitive labor."

"While ensuring quality consistency with every drink, it allows the baristas and nutritionists to focus on educating the customers on health and well-being, and creating new drinks." 

We do wonder what the booming coffee industry will have to say about that.

For a closer check at the robot that might be replacing your local hipster barista in the future, have a look at the video below by Chinese internet provider Cheetah Mobile, a heavy investor in OrionStar.


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