Skip to Content

Boozy bots could serve you up your next cocktail

July 19, 2018

At the moment, robotic bartenders are costly—but some startups are aiming to make them competitive with human mixologists.

Automating alcohol: The Tipsy Robot, a Las Vegas bar, has an employee that cost more than $1 million to hire. Its robot bartender, created by Makr Shakr, can sling up to 120 drinks an hour at $12 to $16 a pop. This touristy establishment is the type of setting where cosmos and whiskey sours would be a dime a dozen—if they weren’t so expensive.

But ... Prices are plummeting (for the robots, anyway). Makr Shakr has just released a mass-market version of its drink-serving machine that costs $115,000. And next month, New York–based startup Barsys will release a $2,500 commercial version of a microwave-size robot bartender. The home version is even less—just $1,050.

The jobs question: The creators of these machines don’t see them as supplanting human barkeeps. Rather, they say the technology could change how they work and spend their time. “In most of the bars, the bartender is the biggest crowd puller,” the CEO and founder of Barsys, Akshet Tewari, told the Wall Street Journal. “With Barsys it’s all about increasing the efficiency of a bar.”

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build

“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”

Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives

The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.

Learning to code isn’t enough

Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.

Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google

Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.