18
Nov
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You might remember this video, which cropped up earlier this month, showing off an Android-powered contraption that mixed drinks automatically. Well, it would appear that the device, lovingly named iZac, (after a barbot from the popular show Futurama) has made its official debut, mixing real cocktails for patrons at the Creative Sandbox in Sydney.

Right now, iZac can handle dispensing up to six liquids, and the Android interface includes an "I'm Feeling Lucky" option, which ostensibly creates a totally random concoction for those feeling bold.

izac-futurama 2011 - 1

While iZac already looks fantastic, it will be interesting to track its progress and future refinement, as the inventor, Nick Johnson notes several things that he'd improve in a second iteration. It's definitely worth noting that Johnson has made all of iZac's code and schematics available online as open source, meaning anyone inspired by the idea of an automated bartender can tinker with the concept. You can find technical details, as well as links to iZac's Android app, code, and schematics at Nick's Blog here.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    iZac though? I see what they did but the i is such an eye sore.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      From Futurama! :D

      • Ahmad Nadeem

        I would prefer ZacDroid :D

    • Sterling Archer

      Apple to sue over name in 3...2...1...

      • Ahmad Nadeem

        Aaaaaaand sued for a million bucks!!!!

  • Robert

    When someone invents an Android-powered snow-shoveling/ lawn-mowing robot I'm all ears. And they will not be allowed to follow or friend iZac! :D

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    Not to sound like a jerk, but this is lame...I mean REALLY lame.

    First, as a programmer who's been around for more than a month, I know that this has been done with virtually ever OS for the last several years. A robot that makes drinks is sorta like the 'Hello, World!' app of robotics (I'm exaggerating a little, but it is super common and really simple).

    Second, as a former bartender, I can simply say that these things produce terrible drinks and I know how the end equipment used in them works and I know that cleaning, repair and maintenance quickly overshadows the theoretical cost savings.

    Third, as a former bartender who is a programmer, the hardware design of this thing is a joke. The ONLY reason for putting the ingredients onto a pair of spinning platforms is for show (and not even a good show). If this were going to be built by anybody seriously (either as a development project or as a profit-seeking product) it would have been designed as very long tubes with the liquids pushed by pneumatics. That's how all of the liquor guns in bars today are already operated and there would be no reason to change that mechanic. This design is extremely slow and limits this thing to firing only a single liquid at once, but with the design I describe, all of the ingredients could be fired at once and wouldn't take any longer than the longest single ingredient.

    Like I said, I don't want to sound like a jerk, but this thing is a mess...

    • Ahmad Nadeem

      In my opinion it is very hard work we should appreciate it.....Yes!! a robotic bartender can't replace a human one but a few years(or maybe decades) later people will be lazy enough to use this thing....

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

        I haven't examined his design in particular, so I can't comment as to how hard he worked. It doesn't change that the way this thing is put together is rudimentary and the build cost is at least double that of what it could have been. As a bonus, this design has a lot of moving parts and a LOT of potential for failure; just think of what happens if there's a failure or bad calibration in the multiple pumps, sensors, either of the motors on the platters or any of the flow meters. Sorry, but the whole design could be done with a single pump with flow meters and pressurized gates for each ingredient...no motors (other than the pump), few or no sensors (other than the flow meters). As I said before, this is a very simple project which is only "interesting" because it's using Android to present a menu and do some basic communication with a controller board, which is less interesting than what Google's already demonstrated with the Quadracopter back when the Nexus S was released.

        While it's a side point, I'll address this too...The argument of a robot bartender replacing a human one is about 10% legitimate. There is a place for a robotic cocktail dispenser, but it's limited and has a decidedly limited market. Most of my bartender buddies would revolt against me for saying it, but I don't object to seeing it happen if it's done right and kept where it belongs.

  • http://planetexpressdelivery.com FuturamaFreak

    I never in a million years would have remembered that iZac was a futurama reference, and I consider myself to be a futurama guru...