Will they build in a sympathetic ear?

SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco inventor introduced a robotic bartender that serves drinks on voice command at a news conference Wednesday and said, 'This is only the beginning.'

Ron Meyer, president of a local concern which manufactures brass consumer products, is the inventor of the automated bar programmed to make mixed drinks and deliver them to a waiter.


The prototype Meyer displayed operates off an Apple II computer. In the test run for reporters, it made drinks, complete with ice and mixes as ordered, from a list of about 20 choices.

'When we get a little further into this,' said Meyer, who plans to sell the automated bars to casinos, hotels and restaurants, 'we'll be able to make almost any drink imaginable. The possibilities are limited only by the bar's capacity.'

In the test run, a reporter ordered a bourbon and soda. Once the order was placed, the mechanism responded by repeating the order. Then the robot took over, swinging down below the bar to pick up a glass. Having done that, it shifted to the end of the bar for ice, came back for the bourbon and soda, which poured from a spigot, and finally placed the drink on the bar, announcing, 'Here is your bourbon and soda.'


The elapsed time was about a minute and 30 seconds.

'We hope to speed up the process in the next model,' said Meyer.

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