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Robotender Ernie First Robot Bartender

This is really more of an historical piece, but it's time to honor Honeybee Robotics, who created what is arguably the first robot bartender, Robotender Ernie.


(Robotender Ernie robot bartender)

Robotender Ernie was created and demonstrated in 1985. As you will discover in the above video, Robotender Ernie can not only fix a variety of drinks, but can also engage customers verbally. Dance moves? Robotender Ernie's got 'em.

Robotender Ernie is an interesting sort of intellectual property mash-up as well. At appropriate times, he will deliver trademarked expressions in the recorded voice of HAL from Stanley Kubrick's 2001:A Space Odyssey.

As far as I know, the first time a robot bartender is mentioned 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:

His senses uncrossed in the ivory-and-gold star chamber of Castle Presteign... Taste became taste as he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.

He knew his life was at bay, faced with the decision of his life. 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.

Modern day robot bartenders include the much more professional looking T-ROT; see T-Rot Thinking Robot Tends Bar, Chats.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/8/2006)

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