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.”

Deep Dive


Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

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.