The first machines could be available in airports by next year.

By Marisa Spyker
August 06, 2018
Courtesy of Yanu

In the age of artificial intelligence, there isn’t a whole lot that a robot can’t do. If you’re hungry, just ask Alexa to order you a pizza. Want to go somewhere? Google’s self-driving cars can take you. And if you’re running low on your gin & tonic, a new robotic prototype can get you a refill—or recommend something entirely new.

Developed by a company in Estonia, Yanu is the first fully autonomous bartending unit that utilizes artificial intelligence to serve drinks. With an arsenal that holds up to 50 bottles, the robot will be able to take orders, process payment, and mix and serve cocktails from a long list of recipes. At its fastest, the machine can make up to 200 drinks per hour.

But the really impressive part is the robot’s chatbot technology, which mimics the customer-bartender repartee by allowing the unit to answer questions, provide drink recommendations or offer sightseeing tips. (It’ll even crack a barroom joke, if you want it to.) “Yanu is not a vending machine—it’s more of a sophisticated bartender of the future,” says CEO and founder Alan Adojaan.

While we don’t expect machines to replace many bartenders anytime soon, you can expect to start seeing these popping up around the globe, including in several European airports the company currently has contracts with. And, here’s the best news ever: If you want one of these babies for yourself, the robots will be available beginning next summer for around $145,000. Could there be a more epic beach party companion?

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