The robot revolution is here, at least for your morning caffeine fix. Cafe X Technologies is a new, automated barista designed by the award-winning team behind Dr. Dre's Beats headphones and speakers: the Ammunition Group. The Jetsons-style coffeemaker can sling 120 cups of joe per hour at specs that satisfy finicky roasters (and project partners) like Intelligentsia, Ritual and Equator.
The robo unit is essentially a fully operational café beneath a $25,000 six-axis animatronic arm. Customers place orders on a kiosk touchscreen or via the Cafe X app and receive a text when the drink is ready, after around a minute of preparation. Like at a regular coffeehouse, you get a multitude of beverage options: latte, single-origin espresso, matcha latte, cortado and so on, and with different types of frothy milk, including organic Swedish oat milk. Even the robot gestures are crafted to evoke a true coffee bar experience. As it presents each cup to customers, the machine offers a sweeping "ta-da!" gesture.
"We knew a robot could create an exceptional cup of coffee, but we also wanted it to appear warm and friendly," said inventor Henry Hu, 24, who conceived the idea in his second year at Babson College after being stuck in a coffee line for too long at an airport. "The baristas to me looked like factory workers," he said. "They were moving cups around and pushing buttons, which made me think, 'I bet we can build a product that automates these boring tasks way more efficiently."
The full price for the robot barista, including the arm, has not been revealed yet by Cafe X. The company plans to offer pricing information later this year.