At Maker Faire Rome 2022, we saw a variety of robots big and small, but few were as impressive as Brillo, the robot bartender. Sporting two industrial food assembly line robot arms, Brillo can reach in any direction to make cocktails of varying complexity. Brillo also has a back-projected mask featuring a human face, along with a waistcoat, apron, and bow tie to give it the authentic bartender appearance.
Brillo, which stands for Bartending Robot for Interactive Long-Lasting Operations, is the product of a research project from P.R.I.S.C.A. Lab - Projects of Intelligent Robotics and Advanced Cognitive Systems - at the University of Naples Federico II. We spoke with a P.R.I.S.C.A. Lab team member about the project at Maker Faire Rome 2022.
What really makes this project special is the machine learning-aided facial sentiment analysis. Brillo is capable of showing many personality traits but will only act in certain ways if it judges that the customer is in the mood. It'll remember your favorite drink, and tell stories or jokes depending on whether it feels the time is right. The face, voice and mood is all changeable, giving the option for one robot to play the part of many different barkeeps - but that is a long way off yet.
While it'll be some time before a robot will be taking over at your local bar, it's amazing to see Brillo in action - although in the busy Maker Faire bustle, we didn't get a chance to grab a drink!