Guido, the world’s first self-driving bar unit leverages driverless technology to change leisure in cities.

The day when you can organise a cocktail party within minutes through your phone app is here, at least in concept. With Guido, a new concept for a driverless robotic café, anyone can throw a party anywhere. All you need to do is to book Guido through your app, much like what people are doing now with ride-sharing apps such as Grab and Uber.

Guido will self-drive to the location booked and precisely prepare and serve any drink combination in seconds as per your order.

Designed and developed by Professor Carlo Ratti and his team (CRA) for Makr Shakr, the world’s leading producer of robotic bartenders, Guido is an example of new on-demand ways to enjoy leisure in cities.

It features two mechanical arms to prepare and serve any drink in seconds, mounted over a self- driving vehicle platform.

When it arrives, you can order a drink with the app, and the robotic bartender will source the cocktail’s components from the bottles atop the counter and craft your drink. The system will be able to verify people’s age through their IDs and let them pay via mobile phone.


Guido (a popular Italian name which also means “I drive”) is more than an experiment in combining new technologies – it is also a way of reimagining new social opportunities in the metropolis.

Currently, in many cities, small central areas are full of life while only a few steps away more peripheral areas are empty and lifeless, and sometimes unsafe.

Guido offers an alternative, reimagining that different parts of the city can be brought to life by the opportunity to enjoy one’s leisure time on their streets.

There is also the potential to create new social dynamics, for instance with one person’s decision to call over Guido, creating serendipitous, smaller hubs of activity, and uniting neighbours and passersby who might not otherwise meet.

“Guido is the application of a city-on-demand paradigm. By matching Makr Shakr’s robotic bartenders with the mobility systems of the future researched by CRA, we can put forward a new idea for the experience of leisure,” says Emanuele Rossetti, CEO of Makr Shakr.

“With Guido, we show how technologies can make cities more responsive, and ultimately more fun.”

Guido will be developed in the course of 2019 in collaboration with international municipalities, to create a new on-the-go drink experience.

According to Ratti, the Makr Shakr 3.0 system is already on the market since summer of 2018 and can be ordered for USD99,000 – plus a small fee per drink that covers all maintenance costs.

“In this case, we have added it on the top of an autonomous driving platform; its cost today is still high but we expect this to go down significantly in the next years.”

On whether this new concept takes jobs away from humans, Ratti clarifies that the robotic bartender’s role is more towards facilitating new interactions between humans and machines. “That said, we think businesses have the duty to address concerns like the one you mentioned, dealing with the impact of Artificial Intelligence on today’s professions.”

“In this sense, I think two vital keywords to master today’s technological change are transition and redistribution. Transition: we have to learn how to manage today’s technological upheavals without being overwhelmed by them. This implies two things: helping those who will lose their jobs, so that they can soon find another one; and educating new generations to be ready for the professions of tomorrow. Redistribution: it is imperative to agree on who will benefit from the new order. Will it be investors? Or those who have been chucked out

of the job market? One possible solution would
be to have robots pay taxes. This is not a joke: it simply means levying a tax on technological capital and transferring income to those who have lost their jobs. This is no extreme thinking: Bill Gates, among others, is backing such an idea.”

The two cutting edge companies are targeting 2020 as the year the autonomous robotic bars will be deployed – first in the city of Torino, where the Makr Shar company and factories are located.

CRA has been collaborating with Makr Shakr, the world’s leading producer of robotic bars for a number of years. Guido is their latest design concept.

Says Ratti: “In 2018, we designed their Makr Shakr 3.0, the first mass-produced robotic bartender that can be reconfigured and adapted into any location. Makr Shakr 3.0 is proving to be a hit with bars, restaurants, casinos, cruise ships, etc. Guido is opening new, temporary markets – from pop up bars and cafes to concerts.”

An architect and engineer, Ratti leads CRA design and innovation practice and is based in New York and Turin. He also directs the MIT Senseable City Lab.

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