Selfridges unveils smart tech robot cocktail maker

Upmarket London department store Selfridges has unveiled its new bartender – a smart tech robot called Toni, which it claims is the world’s first automated cocktail-maker, in collaboration with Bacardi.

The retailer says the new bartender from Italian smart tech company Makr Shakr is set to liven up the shopping experience for retailers at its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street, by allowing users to experience smart technology while shopping. It is part of a collaboration with drinks company, Bacardi.

The sleek robotic Makr Shakr comprises two mechanical arms that can prepare and serve cocktails in seconds – whether shaken, stirred or muddled, which shoppers can choose via a mobile app. The app allows them to swipe through a list of pre-made classic cocktails and mocktails recipes, or they can create their own customised cocktails.

It is on show from 23 October in Selfridges new 200sq metre lower ground floor expansion, which is devoted to Smartech.

The aim of combining the retail and entertainment would “make shopping a fun adventure and a form of leisure instead of a chore” in keeping with the store’s founding ethos, it said.

Emanuele Rossetti, CEO of Makr Shakr, said consumers will have the opportunity to experience technology and be an active participant of the shopping experience, becoming mixologists themselves via the Makr Shakr app. “This way, people will leave the store with a drink… and a lasting experience,” he said.

Jacov Nachtailer, founder of Smartec said the company was excited to bring the world’s first robot-bartender to Selfridges in London “Put innovative products under one roof, you get excitement.”

Makr Shakr was launched in 2014 by innovation and design practice CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati before being spun out as an independent company. There are currently industrial versions of Makr Shakr’s bars aboard six Royal Caribbean cruise ships, with further automated bars in Las  Vegas, Nevada and Biloxi, Mississippi, in France, in Czech Republic, and Italy.

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