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
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
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
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.