Mr Asahi can open beer bottles and serve pints in less than two minutes, knocking 13 minutes off the average 15 minute waiting time at the bar. At £100,000, he'll need to be better than average.
(Mr. Asahi robotic bartender video)
A spokesman for Asahi beer said: 'Robotic barmen don't have attitude problems, they work a bit quicker, they don't need to eat, they don't need loo breaks, so I think they are perfect.'
The earliest mention of a robot bartender, as far as I know, is in science fiction is in The Stars My Destination, a 1956 award-winning novel by Alfred Bester. In the novel, robots are sometimes used for added security:
...Taste became taste as he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.
...He ignored his enemies and examined the perpetual beam carved in the robot face of the bartender, the classic Irish grin.
"Thank you," Foyle said.
"My pleasure, sir," the robot replied and awaited his next cue.
(Read more about the robot bartender)
Other mentions include the robot bar from a 1965 Harry Harrison novel. Also, Star Trek: The Next Generation fans may recall the episode in which their memories are erased; Data assumes the job of bartender in Ten Forward.
Mr. Asahi is not the world's first robot bartender; as far as I know, that honor belongs to Robotender Ernie, created in 1985. See this Robotender Ernie video. Also: