Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

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Gary di Silvio (CRA) with Carlo Turati and Marco Conte (Makr Shakr)

Whether it’s Netflix’s promise of streaming video or the rise of on-demand robot delivery companies, it’s no secret that the tech world is all about services on tap. Taking that idea literally is the startup Makr Shakr, a self-driving robot bar that promises to (quite literally) let you summon up a perfectly mixed cocktail wherever you are. While it’s still only a concept right now, the “Guido” barmobile will one day let users place and pay for their complex beverage order by app, and then have a robot mix it — all without having to interact with another person.

“With Guido, we wanted to create new on-demand ways to enjoy leisure in our cities,” Emanuele Rossetti, CEO of Makr Shakr, told Digital Trends. “Guido represents an experiment combining the two technologies that are poised to impact our lives the most in the next few years: Robotics and self-driving. Furthermore, Guido conveys, so to say, a ‘wow’ effect. In a society that is eager to always find new ways of enjoinment, our self-driving café — designed in collaboration with [Carlo Ratti Associati] — offers an alternative; imagining that different parts of the city can be activated by the opportunity to enjoy one’s leisure time on their streets.”

self driving robot bartender 20190114 cra guido on the beach
Gary di Silvio (CRA) with Carlo Turati and Marco Conte (Makr Shakr)

As noted, this is far from the first startup promising to deliver physical goods to customers, as summoned by app. Other initiatives in this area include companies promising to autonomously deliver everything from mail to snacks to self-driving wheelchairs when and where requested. Nor is it the only company building robotic bartenders. We’ve previously covered multiple such projects, designed to perfectly whip up the drink of your choice with all the attention-grabbing skill of Tom Cruise’s character in Cocktail. Makr Shakr, however, may well be the first time these concepts have been combined. And, if tech has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the best ideas (think Steve Jobs’ original pitch for the iPhone) are as much about combining existing cool ideas as they are coming up with something entirely new.

So when can we expect to be pulling our smartphones and ordering up a robot mojito (robito?) as and when required? Keep your eyes peeled.

“Currently, Guido is in its concept phase,” Rossetti continued. “It will be developed in the course of 2019 in collaboration with international municipalities. For those who want to already enjoy a portable version of our robotic bartender, a few months ago we launched Makr Shakr 4.0, a robotic bartender that can travel everywhere — albeit still driven by humans. There is also our fixed Makr Shakr 3.0 system, that can be ordered for 99,000 euros, plus a small fee per drink that covers all maintenance costs.”

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