Makr Shakr: Be Your Best Bartender

MIT Sensible Lab, Pentagram and SuperUber is collaborating to create Makr Shakr, a robotic bar capable of preparing approximately one googol (equal to 10 power 100) crowd-sourced drink combinations. Through a mobile app, users will be able to design their own drinks, learn from other people’s recipes, and leave a few tips for the next user. The three robotic arms will then concoct their chosen mixture.

Users can gain inspiration by viewing other users’ recipes and comments before sending in their drink of choice. The cocktail is then crafted by three robotic arms, whose movements reproduce every action of a barman – from the shaking of a Martini to the muddling of a Mojito, and even the thin slicing of a lemon garnish. It is previewing during Milan Design Week from April 9th-14th, before being unveiled in its final configuration at Google I/O in San Francisco on May 15th.

Why I’m Curious: I love this concept for quite a few reasons. First, the app could be a signal of this “Third Industrial Revolution” paradigm as it empowers a consumer with the ability to be a bartender.  Second, alcohol brands could leverage this compelling tool and establish connections with their audience. As the best drinks become the most popular and can be shared through social media, I think this is a beautiful case of merging the physical touch world with the digital space. And lastly, I’m fascinated by the fact that the gestures of Makr Shakr were inspired by Roberto Bolle, principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, as they were filmed and used as input for the programming.

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