The only way to make bars better? Have drones deliver the drinks. That, at least, is the premise behind the world’s first drone cafe, which has just opened its doors in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. Because if the spirits aren’t enough to make you smile, the technology will do the trick.
Born from the creative (and perhaps inebriated) minds of college students at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the drone cafe employs a robotic fleet known as Blue Jay. The quadcopters buzz over to a customer, take orders by way of camera sensors (you can choose from one of four drinks), and your selection is then communicated to another drone that picks up the drink and brings it to your waiting table.
And to prevent the spillage of any precious drops of libations, the drinks are delivered in the drones’ pincer-like hands in cups outfitted with lids.
“It has potential as a useful tool for human kind,” student project leader Tessie Hartjes told AFP regarding Blue Jay and the drone technology. “We see it as the next mobile phone. You choose and you program it like you want.” The drones each cost about 2,000 euros to construct, and were the result of a program celebrating the university’s 60th anniversary. A host of other projects are currently underway in the Netherlands to show off the possible applications of unmanned flying vehicles.
“The Blue Jay is an intelligent bird that lives in complex, social environments,” Eindhoven students say. “We believe that one day, domestic drones will be a part of society. One day, a drone could be a friend. For now, a drone is a machine that brings you an alcoholic beverage, which when you think about it, could be the best friend you’ve ever had.
Moving forward, however, the young entrepreneurs envision some more practical uses. “You could think of applications like fire prevention, tracking down burglars, or delivering medicines.”