Robot barman starts work at Selfridges

Guy Dixon | Jul 5, 2008 6:30 AM
Selfridges and Asahi beer have served up what they claim to be the world's first bespoke robotic barman..
'Mr Asahi', who makes use of a combination of robotics and animatronics, started work at the retailer's flagship Oxford Street store in London this week.

The versatile robot can pull draught beer in pints and half pints, and take the cap off bottles of beer.

Mr Asahi also comes with a robotic smile and can reply politely to questions from customers and stay calm under pressure.

The robot uses compressed air to control and regulate a series of valves and electrical switching mechanisms via a PC.

Mr Asahi weighs in at just over quarter of a tonne and took a team of eight engineers over 200 man hours to assemble.

"Mr Asahi has been training for six months ahead of appearing at Selfridges, which will be his first official role before embarking on a national tour," Selfridges said in a statement.

The robot serves people in under two minutes in contrast to the average 15 minute wait at the bar, saving the average person 13 minutes, according to the store.

Mr Asahi will begin a national tour next week with pit-stops in Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow.