'Bots And Bottles: Robo-Bartender "Monsieur" Could Be Worth A Shot

You step into your favorite local watering hole, nodding at the regulars.  You sit down on your usual stool and are greeted by a nondescript black box with a screen interface and a small compartment on the bottom that holds a cup.  The screen depicts a cozy candle-lit pub in rural Ireland.  You're actually in New York, but that doesn't matter.  You swipe the screen and suddenly you're in Costa Rica at a beach bar.  Another swipe, you're in Finland in an ice cave, where vodka bottles are frozen into the bar.  Another swipe and you're in a Kentucky honky-tonk.

You tap the screen, selecting from scrolling menus with options of shots, cocktails, martinis, drinks neat or on the rocks.  Various flavor profiles like "bitter", "sour", "tropical" and "refreshing" are also there to choose from.  Touching the button for "bourbon" then another for "highball", the machine starts to buzz and fizz, and in an instant, your beverage sits before you.  You take a sip, smiling as the day's worries slough off like a file deleted and a recycling bin emptied.  You raise your glass in toast to the robot bartender, offering thanks.  You haven't had to talk to anyone until this point, when you chose to.

"Excellent as always, Monsieur."

If this seems weird to you, congratulations, you're another citizen who isn't ready for robots to take over commonplace human jobs.  However, the mixological option has now been made manifest by Monsieur, a new startup robotic project that replaces your friendly neighborhood shot-slinger with an impartial and boringly accurate robot.

According to techcrunch.com, Monsieur is the boozy brainchild of two Georgia scientist/engineers who were fed up with long waits for drinks at popular bars, and decided that manufacturing a saucy service wench (or, if you prefer, seasoned sommelier) was a viable alternative.  The Monsieur is capable of serving a variety of mixed or straight drinks, tracking your intake, cutting you off, and basically doing everything short of throwing you out of the bar when you've started slapping it trying to break into its Jagermeister stash.  

Another feature of the Monsieur is remote ordering (via your phone), so you can have that next round of Kamikaze shots ready and waiting for you at the bar while you divebomb your way across the dancefloor.  Or if you're sitting pretty someplace super fancy, your own private Monsieur could be your bottle service valet for the evening.  Perhaps if you find yourself overseas in a foreign land, you can scroll through the hotel bar's Monsieur in your desired language and be sure you haven't ordered the local camel-milk White Russian-Province.

"We swear it's not made with too much antifreeze, comrade...drink up!"
(Image courtesy gct.com.)

With 1,000 units on track to ship, Monsieur is no longer a garage project (even though it literally was created in co-inventor Barry Givens' parents' garage.)  You could be spotting these 'bots in all sorts of locations soon (pro tip: there is a setting that adjusts the pour on your drink from regular to "boss.")   No word on whether they have a "wildly inappropriate dirty jokes" or "wingman to help me meet that hottie down the bar" feature available yet.  

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name...and of course Monsieur will.  It's in his programming.  He'll listen to everything you have to cry about, although he won't really have any wise life advice to offer you in return.  But for those who just want booze at the touch of a button, Monsieur will be honored to serve you.

Remember, you cannot hit on it, literally or figuratively, to try to score a heavier pour.
(Image courtesy kickstarter.com.)



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