The future of beer is here: Torque introduces robot bartender

Always wanted a robot to bring you a beer? Head over to Torque Brewing.

'No beer has been wasted or harmed in the implementation of the robot pouring'

Customers seem to get a kick out of the beer-delivery robot. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Always wanted a robot to bring you a beer? Head over to Winnipeg's Torque Brewing, where their new "bot-tender" robots will take your order, rinse out a glass, pour a beer and serve it to you.

Phil Bernadin is one of the owners at Torque Brewing, and he also owns Eascan Automation, a local robotics company. 

He says people get quite a kick out of the system. 

"A lot of just staring and stricken with awe as to what it can do," he says. "It does the same thing every time, they say — which is what it's supposed to do, it's a robot." 

Instructions: proceed to a station, choose your beer, push blue tape, receive beer! (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Bernadin says the pair — a pouring bot and a serving bot — are universal robots, and were programmed by a University of Waterloo student. 

Watch the robots take an order, pour and deliver a beer:

Watch robots pour a beer at Torque Brewing 1:01

"It's just fun," he says. 

They've tossed out a few names — bot-tender, Servo. "We were going to borrow a little bit of Bender from Futurama so we thought we'd call him 'Vendor' and you know there's been a few names kicked around but Vendor seems to be the one that people like," says Torque Brewing president John Heim. 

Next up, Heim wonders about adding functions.

A beer on its way to a customer. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

"You hold your credit card up and it scans it, it goes and gets you a beer and brings it to you and it sort of logs how many you've had  — we could build a breathalyzer into it and just sort of shut you down if you've had too much," he said. 

"But we wouldn't want to get rid of the personal touch of coming in to a taproom." 

So far the robots have not spilled any beer, but one glass has been broken as part of the robots' learning curve. 

"No beer has been wasted or harmed in the implementation of the robot pouring," Heim said. 

A sastisfied customer at Torque Brewing, served by a robot. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

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