This robotic barista never needs a coffee break

This robotic barista never needs a coffee break

The robotic arm manning Cafe X at the Metreon shopping center in San Francisco looks very caffeinated as it frantically swings from one side of its enclosed bar to the other. 

Along with the help of two fully automatic coffee machines, the arm can whip up anywhere from one to four drinks a minute, depending on the complexity of the order. 

Customers can place an order either by using the company's smartphone app or through one of the kiosks at the cafe. Once their order is ready, customers receive a four-digit code, which they use to pick up their drink. Efficiency is key. 

"In today's world, you have two options for getting a cup of coffee: you're either in and out with something subpar, or you're waiting in a 15-minute line for a great cappuccino," said Cafe X CEO Henry Hu. "I started Cafe X to eliminate that inherent compromise and give people access to a tasty cup of coffee consistently and conveniently."

Hu started Cafe X in 2014 after realizing that a lot of the work baristas currently do is repetitive and could be done by a robot. So he dropped out of college, sold his car, and raised some convertible notes from family and friends before getting backing from a number of venture capitalists, including Khosla Ventures, Social Capital, and Jason Calacanis. 

Besides efficiency, Cafe X prides itself on quality coffee. The shop serves beans from specialty roasters AKA Coffee, Verve, and Peet's. Each roaster programs the coffee machines to their own recipes to ensure the same taste wether the coffee comes from a human or bot. 

Cafe X Magdalena Petrova

Cafe X's robotic barista at the Metreon in San Francisco on Jan. 2, 2017.

Cafe X originally debuted in a Kong Kong office building a few months ago. Hu says that location currently serves more than 1,000 drinks a week. Though he would not disclose how much the setup cost, Hu did say that it's about the same price as renovating and opening a traditional cafe. 

"At this point, we don't have too much cost savings. We are more focused on just giving people a good experience." 

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

«New WhatsApp beta feature looks to eliminate the pain of embarrassing texts

NEXT ARTICLE

Google Now Launcher's days in the Play Store are numbered»
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

Add Your Comment

Most Recent Comments

Our Case Studies

IDG Connect delivers full creative solutions to meet all your demand generatlon needs. These cover the full scope of options, from customized content and lead delivery through to fully integrated campaigns.

images

Our Marketing Research

Our in-house analyst and editorial team create a range of insights for the global marketing community. These look at IT buying preferences, the latest soclal media trends and other zeitgeist topics.

images

Poll

Should companies have Bitcoins on hand in preparation for a Ransomware attack?