Rise of the Unattended Robotic Café

Dubbed as “the most futuristic way to sip” (Narcity Canda), our Robo Café has made headlines across Canadian and International media for its innovation, style, and most importantly amazing quality coffee. In fact, our robot has shifted the perception of unattended coffee from the traditionally terrible “vending” variety to a new breed of Robot Café that is deliciously predictable. We also make the customer experience seamless, offering a contactless interface where users simply place their order via the RC COFFEE app, scan their QR code at the machine, and the robot barista begins carefully preparing their customized beverage.

               Like any technology, there is always room for improvement – we recently upgraded our single spout espresso machine to a two-spout espresso machine, thereby doubling our productivity. We have also replaced an “XY” train track-like grid delivery system to a cutting-edge robo arm for utmost precision and speed. Consumers can now have their beverage in hand much faster, without comprising quality. We continue to invest heavily in R&D to constantly improve our Robo Café’s capabilities, while improving functionality for customers.

In addition to being the futuristic way to sip, we are also the safest way! Our Robo Café is the perfect solution for the “new normal” as it is contactless and often outdoors. All fresh ingredients are enclosed within the machine and are not exposed to any risk of potential contamination. We’re genuinely concerned for our customers’ wellbeing and are pleased to provide a convenient extension of the traditional café that is ideal for people on-the-go who may not want (or have time) to enter a traditional human café.

According to The Economist, the ‘fearmongers’ claim of robots replacing jobs are ‘overblown’. Recessions and pandemics accelerate automation, but the truth is: humans are irreplaceable as they are kind, compassionate, and empathetic; something robots never will be. With the direction we’re heading, you’re more likely to work alongside a robot than be replaced by one. At RC Coffee, there are many people hustling behind the scenes to ensure that our Robo Café is running smoothly. Automation creates new opportunities in its essence.

To appreciate our technological progress, it’s interesting for us to look back at the short history of “robots” as we know them today. The definition of “robot” in the 1920s was “forced labour” (Oxford Languages), but at that time, the term was not a reality but a mere figment of the imagination where human beings were made with metal. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the fictional concept of a “robot” came to fruition when Silicon Valley’s SRI International developed “Shakey”. Shakey made its way into history books as “the first mobile robot with the ability to perceive and reason about its surroundings” (SRI International). When Shakey’s full capabilities were realized by the scientific community, though literally quite shakey and awkward, the perception of robots changed. Soon after, a new defintion for “robot” was coined “a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically” (Oxford Languages).

Robots soon began to make their way into the workforce, revolutionizing manufacturing. In the 1980s robots were mostly confined to labs and factories, where they were limited to picking things up and putting them back down again. Honda changed the game when they created a robotics program, where the engineers eventually developed robots who could walk, wave and shake hands. Robotics didn’t stop there “[today,] advanced robots are popping up everywhere. For that you can thank three technologies in particular: sensors, actuators, and AI” (wired.com). Robots went from being a far-fetched figment of the imagination to being intelligent machines that can perform complex and dangerous tasks with the utmost precision and speed.

Robotic technology has come a long way from its science-fiction beginnings, and today, our progress on this front is translating into great benefits; including outstanding unattended coffee. Our RC Coffee Robo Café is a perfect manifestation of the latest robotic technological advancements; delivering high quality specialty coffees, such as lattes and cappuccinos, through a sophisticated self serve kiosk. Utilizing our robotic delivery combined with the power of the world’s most super automatic espresso machine, our robot barista replicates the steps of a human barista, from bean grinding, to tamping and even milk frothing. The result is the highest caliber espresso based beverages that rival the most seasoned human barista’s craft.