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Robot Makes Coffee Shop Run

February 09, 2011

A Mountain View California photographer, Aaron Blumenshine, last week documented a robot on a scone-procurement mission at a local coffee shop. Commercially known as an Anybot, the robot rolled down the sidewalk and into the shop, waited in line like the other customers, and gave his order when asked. He wanted to know about the scones, ordered one, paid with a $5 bill attached to his “head”, made a few parting comments and left.

It appeared this wasn’t his first time at the shop, as the barista seemed to be used to the bot and joked with him. Her best line: “Is that for here or to go?” The bot asked her to put the scone in his bag, paid, telling her to keep the change, and turned to go. As most of the surprised customers in the shop were taking videos with their cell phones, the bot could be heard to remark “I didn’t know there’d be so much paparazzi in this coffee shop!” A bot with a sense of humor – definitely of the friendly kind.

Could this be a new trend? According to writer Tom Goldman, this bot is sold by Anybots, Inc. and is designed to do such tasks for its master. With a little adaptation and a spill-proof travel mug, the bot could have added a cup of coffee to its mission. It’s not hard to envision it going to the Post Office and taking care of other such time-consuming tasks which involve waiting in line and simple interactions. Best yet, its promoters suggest business owners could work from home, using the bot as eyes and ears at work, relaying everything back to the master. It’s controlled from a computer and web browser through the bot’s speaker, microphone, camera and video screen.

To see the video, go to http://aaronblumenshine.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/robot-orders-a-scone-in.... Be prepared to see more of such errand-running bots in the future. Maybe one will even take over your office……



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