GIMHAE, Aug. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — A South Korean robotics company has revealed an unmanned barista that is capable of all stages of coffee making from taking orders and making coffee to serving customers, a device that some speculate could replace coffeehouse workers in the near future.
The coffee-making robot, which makes coffee and serves customers after digital orders are placed, was unveiled by South Korean robotics company Robot Plus in celebration of the opening of the company’s new manufacturing plant at Gimhae Techno Valley.
It’s the very first coffee-serving robot developed with South Korean technology from start to finish.
Though the robot currently offers two beverages, Americano and iced Americano, linked with other coffee machines, it can be ordered to make a variety of coffee drinks.
Based on the size and purpose of each business establishment, the company says the barista robot can be customized, with a special IoT-based application in development stages which will allow users full control via mobile phones including features like making orders and processing payments.
The company argues the coffee-making robot can take on tasks that would otherwise require multiple employees to carry out, and has more precision and skill than unskilled human baristas.
Hong Sang-gon, the CEO of Robot Plus, said, “It’s the first time robotics technology was applied to the field of baristas in South Korea, which as a result could save labor costs and help businesses promote themselves.
“To better incorporate the barista robots with humans, we’ll continue our efforts to improve their design and movement.”
However, while the maker plugs the robot’s cost effectiveness, some expressed concern over the impending issues that the fourth industrial revolution could entail, while others questioned the robot’s qualifications as a barista.
“There’s no need to be excited about the fourth industrial revolution, as the poor will be hit the hardest,” one comment on the website of Yonhap News Agency read, while another said, “How can you build a robotic arm and place it next to coffee machines and ice cube makers and call it a barista? It’s shameless.”