Last update: January 19th, 2020 at 8:00 am
We’ve all been there. It’s not even 9am and you’re already running behind schedule, but there’s no way you can skip your morning coffee. So you pull into your favorite coffee shop, only to find a long line of customers in waiting in front of you. You love your local baristas but you really wish they could move a whole lot faster. Luckily, there may be a new solution. A California-based startup has unveiled plans to open a cafe featuring the very first robot barista.
The robot barista is named Cafe X and comes equipped with a Mitsubishi robotic arm. The arm is programmed to be able to grab cups, place them under the coffee brewer, pump syrup, and return the cup to the window for the customer. Cafe X can even make an espresso drink in under a minute.
Cafe X Technologies says that unlike typical coffee shops, their robot barista eliminates “on-site wait time.” The firm opened its first kiosk on Monday in San Francisco where the robot remains stationed behind a plexiglass window.
“I’ve long been a big coffee consumer and there’s never a guaranteed seamless experience,” said Henry Hu, Cafe X Technologies founder and CEO. “In today’s world, you have two options for getting a cup of coffee: you’re either in and out with something subpar or you’re waiting in a 15-minute line for a great cappuccino. I started Cafe X to eliminate that inherent compromise and give people access to a tasty cup of coffee consistently and conveniently.”
Customers will have the option of ordering their coffee at the kiosk or in advance through a mobile app. At the kiosk, customers simply type their order into a tablet. According to Hu, Cafe X is able to make between 100 and 120 drinks per hour.
“This won’t replace baristas or the coffee shop experience that so many people have come to love – we don’t aim to do that,” said Hu. “What we’re offering is the best possible experience for people who are looking for consistent specialty coffee to-go.”
By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer
Image: Cafe X Technologies