MIT Senseable City Lab, Carlo Ratti Associati, The Coca-Cola Company
Makr Shakr is a new robotic bartending system that allows users to create, in real-time, personalized cocktail recipes
through a smart phone application and transform them into crowd-sourced drink combinations. The cocktail creation
is assembled by three robotic arms, whose movements – visualized on a large display positioned behind the bar – mimic the actions of a bartender, from the shaking of a martini to the thin slicing of a lemon garnish. The system explores the new dynamics of social creation and consumption – ‘design, make and enjoy’ – and in just the time needed to prepare a new cocktail. To use Makr Shakr, users will fi rst download an app onto their handheld devices, allowing them to create both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink combinations.
“The number of drink combinations is almost limitless,” says Yaniv Turgeman, project leader from
MIT Senseable City Lab. “The magic moment will be watching the formation of a bottom-up bar
culture, as we close the loop between ‘co-curating’ and ‘co-producing,’ in real time.”
Instead of trying to replace a bartender with a robot, Makr Shakr aims to be a social experiment
that looks at how people might embrace the new possibilities offered by digital manufacturing. In
Makr Shakr, social connections are woven throughout the co-creation and mixing of ingredients,
which are then fed back to the user through the app. With this new technology, consumers can
learn from each other, sharing connections, recipes and photos on social networks. Furthermore,
Makr Shakr can monitor alcohol consumption and blood alcohol levels – something
beyond what a traditional bartender can do – hence promoting responsible drinking.