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Soda Robots To Conquer Beverage Universe

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Behold, the future of robotic beverage delivery -- Coca-Cola

machines that may be able to serve up to 120 different drinks. The

technology is being showcased this week at the Consumer Analyst Group

of New York Conference in Boca Raton. The machines would replace those

6-8 valve machines that mix syrup with soda water.

"Instead of us using syrups, (the new beverage robot) uses highly

concentrated ingredients that fit into a cartridge like the one you

have in your printer," says Ray Crockett, a company spokesman. "We can

put over 100 branded products in the dispenser."

Awesome! Finally, I can drink my precious Diet Mountain Dew, my beloved

Pepsi One, at restaurants that were formerly stocked only with Coke,

right?

"We normally don't carry competitive products in our fountains," says Crockett. "But that's a conversation for the future."

Ah, nuts! At any rate, Coke's going to test the new fountains in Atlanta and Orange County later this year, then roll 'em out nationwide early in 2010.

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