Robot Barista?? Good bye jobs

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
James Mulryan
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Postby James Mulryan » Feb 18, 2017, 5:27 pm

Just read this in the Los Angeles times today.

http://www.latimes.com/business/technol ... story.html

Thousands of manufacturing jobs lost to robots--soon truck drivers, cab drivers, and baristas. :(

wachuko
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Postby wachuko » Feb 18, 2017, 5:31 pm

Does it hold it for you while you drink it?

I don't get it... it is an automated espresso machine... why not just grabbing the cup yourself when the machine is done??

EDIT: Ahhh, got it...

"Encased in plexiglass, the kiosk contains two coffee machines equipped to brew Americanos, espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites."

I have not seen/tasted an automatic espresso machine that can make an espresso or cappuccino as good as a good barista... I think we are okay for now. :wink:
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko

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TomC
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Postby TomC » Feb 18, 2017, 6:10 pm

I need to go in there and try it someday. I wouldn't be surprised if it was better than Starbucks or Peets milk drinks

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aecletec
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Postby aecletec » Feb 18, 2017, 9:24 pm

wachuko wrote:I have not seen/tasted an automatic espresso machine that can make an espresso or cappuccino as good as a good barista... I think we are okay for now. :wink:

Yeah, seems gimmicky to me.. superautos aren't exactly the quality leaders at the moment - but if using quality beans it will probably confirm TomC's suspicion.

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Feb 19, 2017, 8:27 am

TomC wrote:I need to go in there and try it someday. I wouldn't be surprised if it was better than Starbucks or Peets milk drinks


You'll probably have an opportunity in San Francisco before someday comes. Unless the Board of Supervisors outlaws robots within city/county limits.
- John

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Feb 19, 2017, 8:41 am

aecletec wrote:Yeah, seems gimmicky to me.. superautos aren't exactly the quality leaders at the moment - but if using quality beans it will probably confirm TomC's suspicion.


But here's the thing: There's an economic tipping point where a good-enough machine generates more growing profit than the person it replaces. When I was in London a while back, the heavily-used Nespresso machines were churning out hundreds of "free" drinks in the morning, and I'm sure management had done an ROI analysis and concluded they made sense where baristas would not. Of course the coffee was not superlative, but patrons were gulping down Imperial gallons of the manufactured product nonetheless.

There may have been enough coffee science done, in addition to enormous strides in sensor technology, for a robot to be built that will reliably meet or exceed what 90% of human baristas can produce on an espresso manufacturing line (aka a coffee shop), leading to human jobs in coffee becoming more concentrated upstream, from field through roasting.

Now I could be entirely wrong about this, but when I see automation making inroads into much more specialized fields like law, medicine, and accounting, and non-coffee manufacturing areas, I suppose nothing is sacred, or improbable.
- John

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aecletec
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Postby aecletec » Feb 19, 2017, 5:54 pm

Balthazar_B wrote:But here's the thing

I don't disagree, given the poor uptake of quality practice - and when Starbucks is already using superautos with poor quality beans, the use of higher quality beans is likely an easy win in quality.

EDChris
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Postby EDChris » Feb 21, 2017, 5:15 pm

aecletec wrote:Yeah, seems gimmicky to me.. superautos aren't exactly the quality leaders at the moment - but if using quality beans it will probably confirm TomC's suspicion.


Yeah I'm not sure I see the point. Other than the app ordering, and the entirely unnecessary visual spectacle of watching a robot push a button and move a cup around, how is this any different from using a coinbox SG200/Franke/etc vending machine?

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TomC
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Postby TomC » Feb 22, 2017, 12:00 am

EDChris wrote:Yeah I'm not sure I see the point. Other than the app ordering, and the entirely unnecessary visual spectacle of watching a robot push a button and move a cup around, how is this any different from using a coinbox SG200/Franke/etc vending machine?



Not much, but it satisfies the relentless need for bay area residents to do something novel with their cellphones.


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randomorbit
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Postby randomorbit » Feb 22, 2017, 11:28 am

Clearly that was designed more for show than go. It's a super-automatic with a tablet interface, and online ordering, and a robot arm that takes up WAY more space and mechanically moving parts than are necessary to accomplish the job.

Put the syrup bottles inside the espresso machine, and remove the unnecessary robot arm and countertop, and you could serve twice as many customers in the same space and in less time at significantly less cost. This was created to make a spectacle, not to make coffee.

 
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