The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed all of our lives over the past year. We’ve all had to adjust to new technologies in this new socially-distant world (we’re all expert pros at Zoom now.)
It’s also changed the way we drink. Bars around the world have been closed, and the ones that have reopened have had to think of new measures to keep their patrons safe.
And bars in Seville, Spain have embraced a very unusual solution: bring in the robots.
To minimize exposure between the wait staff and customers, a robot dog named Spot, created by Boston Dynamics and Macco Robotics, has been tasked with delivering beer to tables.
According to ITV, Spot was usually just used as an attention-grabbing marketing tool, but he’s found a new use during the coronavirus (making him one of the few lucky people to actually find a job in the food industry this year.)
The use of the robot has divided customers, with some understandably preferring to be served by a human, while others are impressed by the idea.
“I think that in times of pandemic it is very good that there is a robot serving drinks so there is no contact between people,” customer Abel Ros told ITV. “It’s very cool!”
Macco Robots CEO Victor Martin told ITV that he wasn’t looking to replace human workers with robots: “In the end, we are transforming, we are improving job quality because what we do is that professionals in the industry dedicate themselves to adding value and offering other types of work within the catering business.”
And while Spot is cool and all, it will probably be a while before technology advances to the point where robots can really replace bartenders: a robot can’t pour a perfect Guinness from tap or mix a proper Sazerac, nor can they listen to you vent after a long day at the office.
Really, the better question we should be asking is if building robots to serve us for free won’t lead to some kind of Battlestar Galactica-esque robot uprising. (All of this has happened before, and will happen again…)
But for now, for beer lovers in Spain, you can stay safe while enjoying a beer served by a robot. Drink like you’re in the world of tomorrow.
Beer served by robot dogs: weird and scary, or way of the future? You decide. Share this story and let us know your thoughts on Facebook.