Ecco Brillo, il barista robot che prepara cocktail e chiacchiera thumbnail

Here is Brillo, the robot bartender who prepares cocktails and chats

Think what a curious thing to have a tipsy bartender prepare and pour a cocktail.

No, not in the sense of a bartender who is a bit tipsy from alcohol abuse. In that case, more than a curious thing it would be a disgrace, given what it could do.

We mean Brillo, with a capital letter: this is the name of the robot bartender invented in Italy.

And, let’s face it immediately, its name does not derive (or at least not only) from an irony that is perhaps not the most successful. But from an acronym: In fact, Brillo stands for “Bartending Robot for Interactive Long Lasting Operations”, roughly translatable as “Bartending Robot for long-lasting interactive operations”.

Let’s find out more about Brillo, the Italian robot bartender capable of chatting with customers and preparing cocktails.

barman robot

Brillo, the robot bartender with entertainer skills

We do not know, dear readers of Tech Princess, what your relationship with bars is. There are breakfast aficionados, those who – for pleasure or for work obligations – do not give up a quick lunch in public places. And those who, more or less inclined to alcoholic beverages, spend evening (or night) hours perched perhaps on a counter stool, telling or being told more or less mythical anecdotes about their own and others’ lives.

In each of these contexts, the barista must have at least two fundamental characteristics. Obviously, knowing how to do your job well from the technical side: knowing wines, cocktails, knowing how to prepare an impeccable cappuccino and prepare the right appetizers.

But then, let’s say, he must also possess not too hidden skills as a psychologist. He will need to be witty and quick during breakfasts and lunches, and become an excellent listener (and also a skilled storyteller) as you move into the evening.

Well, it seems that Brillo – the robot bartender – possesses both of these aptitudes.

A project of the Federico II University of Naples

The robot barista Brillo is the happy outcome of a collaboration between the University of Naples Federico II, a team of researchers from the PRISCA laboratory (projects of Intelligent Robotics and Advanced Cognitive Systems) and the Italian company specializing in machines for chains of Totaro Automazioni food assembly.

We were talking about the double competence of Brillo. The robot bartender, first of all, knows how to do his job well: he is in fact able to expertly prepare a long series of cocktails.

But a bartender is not a bartender, we said, if he does not also know how to entertain customers. What’s more: a bartender is not a bartender if he does not know how to distinguish the various types of patrons, and adjust the conversation to each of them.

No problem: Brillo is a skilled conversationalist, and even knows how to recognize a customer. This allows the robot bartender to prepare everyone’s favorite drink, but also to hint at the topics that are most dear to the user on duty.

How Brillo works

Brillo, the made in Italy robot bartender, is therefore much more than a mere beverage dispenser.

Brillo knows how to recognize each customer and thus diversify the service.

Silvia Rossi, project leader explains: “The great novelty represented by Brillo is in the use of an automatic learning algorithm thanks to which he can understand what I like to talk about.”

Among other things, the robot manages to achieve high degrees of refinement. It is, for example, able to pick up the different signals of facial expressions. Rossi continues: “Thanks to the algorithm, Brillo not only learns the preferences and tastes of each person, but also understands how to interact and put each customer at ease”.

Machine learning algorithms allow Brillo to respond in kind to the customer and even, if necessary, indulge in jokes.

These algorithms were developed in about two years. And they allow Brillo to start a conversation from generic topics, and then also delve into sports and politics speeches.

The goal of the project

Silvia Rossi also explained that the aim of the University of Naples, PRISCA Labs and Totaro is not to create a machine for preparing drinks, but rather to “imitate the important social aspects of a barista’s job”.

But what will the ultimate goal be? To replace the figure of the human bartender with that of the robot bartender?

The developers of the project have already indicated a first and not trivial obstacle: “The development of BRILLO confronts us with very challenging problems also in the field of privacy and ethics: we will have to find a solution.”

Ma the so-called bar flies, the most tenacious club-goers, have other doubts: will robot bartenders ever understand the needs of the best customers? Will they be able to tell the right jokes when needed, give the right answer after an outburst, and offer a drink at the right time?

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.