Four Bots for a Brewtopia: Beer Drones, Robo-taps, and Other "Cybeernetic" Organisms

Terminator, Robocop and Transformers: what do these movies all have in common? They don't tell us how robots will bring us beer, and that's just damn rude.

Even more terrifying is that Hollywood may be predicting the future of humanity. With the ubiquity of drones and the NSA surveillance dragnet, it makes us all wonder what's coming next. Automated ballistic missile submarines? Invisible tanks? Hopefully a Trans-human beer IV instead. Thankfully there are a few geeks out there whose lives are devoted to the endless pursuit of automated beer service, thus averting any dystopian apocalyptic robot scenario and restoring humanity to its rightful position as master of machine.

See also: Top Five Recent Beer Inventions

This year is not even half over and the world has seen a new round of beverage service robots, all of which were built for the obvious intention of serving mankind in furtherance of its utmost potential. If it isn't already abundantly clear, robots should be intended to make our lives easier, i.e. bring more beer.

4. The clairvoyant servant

The computer scientists at Cornell University's Personal Robotics Lab are keen to this idea with a robot that predicts when we want a beer. In the video above the bot predicts other actions too, like opening a fridge door, pouring a beer or any other type of programed activity. A PR2 robot equipped with a Kinect camera is tied to a database of 3-D videos used to teach it how to anticipate human reactions. The algorithms used to determine outcomes are similar to how Google uses its autocomplete function to anticipate the words you type. The robot purportedly gets it right 82 percent of the time.

3. Robotic bartender

The Makr Shakr is another robot whose application is more than just beer, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Coca-Cola and Bacardi-backed project debuted last month at the Google I/O conference. Through an iPhone app, the robot allows users to customize cocktails which are made with three mechanical arms. Through shaking and cutting motions, the bot is supposed to mimic the actions of a bartender.

2. The beer drone

Dean Engela of South Africa is turning the idea of the pesky drone into something useful, like delivering beer. Carel Hoffman, founder of OppiKoppi Music Festival, asked Engela to build a beer delivery application for the drone and he did. The drone will debut this August at OppiKoppi. Festival-goers will be able to download a mobile app with which activate a drone that flies out to your exact location and drops bottles of Windhoek, a local beer, via parachute.

1. The Robo-tap

Robokeg, a New Jersey technology start-up, recently debuted its self-pouring robo-tap last month at a New York City Meetup event. The tap is controlled with an iPhone app, which communicates with a web server built with a Raspberry Pi computer, which is connected to a server motor that controls the tap handle. The application works well in conjunction with credit cards, possibly equipped with RFID, that are tapped against the mobile phones. The program also Tweets every time you pour a beer with it.

Get more beer by following David Minsky on Twitter and Instagram

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