Nuwe resepte

Robot Bartenders: Die toekoms is nou

Robot Bartenders: Die toekoms is nou

'N Optimus Prime wat skroewedraaiers maak/benodig

As dit soos Pris van Blade Runner gelyk het, sou ons meer oortuig wees.

Meneer, die kunsmatig intelligente kroegman, kan byna alles doen wat 'n menslike kroegman kan doen: hy kan bestellings neem, drankies meng en skink, 'n kliënt se smaak leer en bepaal of 'n beskermheer te veel gedrink het. Hy kan selfs honderde drankies in net 11 sekondes elk uitdeel. Maar baie menslike kroegmanne is nie te bekommerd oor die verlies van hul werk aan 'n alkohol-gietende Android nie. Omdat een van die dinge wat Monsieur nie kan doen nie, 'n menslike gesprek is.

Monsieur het begin as 'n Kickstarter -projek verlede herfs, en nou sal die Atlanta-gebaseerde onderneming, onder leiding van die stigter en ingenieur Barry Givens, in Mei die eerste kroegmanrobotte aan huise en besighede lewer. Die tegnologie word aangedryf deur 'n app, waar klante 'n drankie kan kies en 'lig' of 'baas' kan bestel, of selfs vir 'n aanbeveling aan Monsieur kan vra.

Mayur Subbaro, mixoloog en huidige drankdirekteur by Louro in die West Village van New York, het voorheen by spesiale geleenthede ervaring gehad met robo-kroegmanne. Hy het gesê dat die robot -kroegman grootliks as 'n nuwigheid beskou word. En vanaf $ 4,000 elk, is die heer geen geringe belegging nie. Op die vraag of New Yorkers hulle moet voorberei omdat hulle kunsmatige intelligensie by hul plaaslike watergate sien, het Subbaro gesê: "Moenie daarop reken nie."

'Die ironie van die hele robo-kroegman-ding is dat dit nie so moeilik is om drankies te maak nie, en as ek by 'n kroeg instap, behoort ek 'n perfekte outydse mode te kry, geen probleem nie,' het Subbaro gesê. "Maar dit is moeilik om kreatief te wees, en dit is wat ons doen. Ek dink hierdie robot -kroegman sal 'n prettige foefie wees by partytjies."


Wat is volgende? Lewe nadat hy 'n handelsmerkambassadeur was.

Barwerk is miskien een van die oudste beroepe ter wêreld, maar die kroegmanne van vandag het 'n heel ander loopbaan as dié van weleer.

Namate die revolusie van cocktail en spiritualieë aanstap, het die bedryf ontwikkel om aan die groeiende vraag na innovasie te voldoen. Deesdae is die eens nederige kroegman gesogte talent wat brandewynmerke van biljoene dollars verteenwoordig, wat hotel- en restaurantdrankprogramme saamstel en die vorming van wat en hoe ons almal drink. En hoewel die vermoë om 'n drankie van hoë gehalte te maak, die kern van die loopbaan bly, is daar baie meer suksesvolle kroegmanne wat kan doen om vooruit te gaan in die spel.

Voer die handelsmerkambassadeur in. Hierdie kroegmanne van die hoogste vlak kom uit 'n verskeidenheid agtergronde, en het by verskeie kroegprojekte gewerk, besit of geraadpleeg. Hulle dien dikwels as die letterlike en figuurlike gesig van 'n sterk handelsmerk. Dit is 'n baie gesogte posisie. Die voordele van die werk bevat gewoonlik 'n korporatiewe kredietkaart met 'n ruim begroting om kliënte, media en ander kroegmanne te vermaak, alles met die doel om handelsmerkbewustheid te verhoog.

'Destyds was ons kroegmanne, maar handelsmerkambassadeurs was soos rocksterre. Dit lyk na die natuurlike volgende stap, ”sê Kyle Ford, 'n voormalige handelsmerkambassadeur vir Cointreau. 'Handelsambassadeursskap het ons 'n begrip gegee van hoe die bedryf buite die kroeg werk.'

Ford se vennoot in die sakewêreld en die lewe, Rachel Ford, 'n voormalige handelsmerkambassadeur van Tanqueray, herhaal die idee dat 'n handelsmerkambassadeur 'n belangrike keerpunt in 'n kroegman se loopbaan is waarin hy of sy die gaping tussen werk agter die stok en korporatiewe verantwoordelikhede. Sy het 'n paar advies vir voornemende handelsmerkambassadeurs wat verwag wat daarna kan gebeur.

"U kry die gawe om te sien hoe verkoopspanne en agentskappe interaksie het en hoe bemarkers met verkoopsmense saamwerk om produkte uit die sak te bring," sê Ford. 'U sal op die lange duur suksesvol wees as u aandag gee aan wat mense nodig het en leer hoe om vir elkeen van hierdie groepe voorsiening te maak.

Maar hoewel die waarde van 'n handelsmerkambassadeurrol nie ontken word vir almal wat die produksie- en sakekant van die bedryf beter wil verstaan ​​nie, is dit beslis nie die laaste stop vir kroegmanne wat in die geesteswêreld wil vorder nie.

"Dit moet beslis nie die uiteinde wees nie," sê Chris Patino, wat in die vroeë 2000's as handelsambassadeur gedien het vir die destydse Absolut Spirits Company. 'Die rakleeftyd van 'n handelsmerkambassadeur is twee of drie jaar. Dit is 'n wonderlike ervaring, maar u is getroud met een handelsmerk. Jy leef en adem een ​​handelsmerk. Op 'n stadium gaan u terugkyk en sê: 'Sjoe, dit was moeilik.'

Toe Pernod Ricard 'n paar jaar later Absolut verkry, het dit die rol van die handelsmerkambassadeur uitgeskakel, en Patino het 'n titel gekry wat hy nooit verwag het nie: veldbemarkingsbestuurder. Dit was 'n werk wat hy gehaat het - sy eerste korporatiewe lessenaar en een wat weekliks van sy huis in New Orleans na Dallas moes vlieg - maar Patino het sy tyd ingesit, ''n ton' geleer en sy oë oop gehou vir geleenthede, en uiteindelik sy eie rol as direkteur van handelsvoorspraak en handelsmerkopvoeding.

'Dit was 'n posisie wat nie bestaan ​​het nie, en as dit wel die geval was, was dit onder leiding van iemand wat nog nooit 'n barman gehad het of eintlik met die produk gewerk het nie,' sê Patino. Hy is van mening dat die kroegmanne die groot handelsmerke moet wys watter rolle hulle in die hande van mense behoort wat weet hoe om drankies te maak.

Patino het sedertdien die uitgebreide ervaring-van die werk aan bemarkingsveldtogte tot die aanstuur van gebeurtenisse tot insette oor nuwe produkte-begin om sy eie handelsgerigte bemarkingsagentskap genaamd Simple Serve te begin. En hy het ook 'n draai gemaak, met die planne om 'n kroeg in San Diego saam met sy kroegman Erick Castro te open.

Die Ford -duo het ook hul eie konsultasiefirma, Ford Media Lab, begin wat fokus op die ontwikkeling van handelsmerke en fotografie en 'n tweejaarlikse tydskrif vir Collectif 1806 vervaardig, getiteld "1806 Magazine".

Alhoewel konsultasie-optredes 'n natuurlike volgende stap is vir baie handelsmerkambassadeurs, kan diegene met meer karbonades aan die produksie soms 'n oprit in die distillerende wêreld vind.

Terwyl hy as globale handelsmerkambassadeur by Bols genever en handelsmerkambassadeur vir G'Vine gin dien, het Philip Duff inisiatiewe geloods soos die Bols Bartending Academy, G'Vine Gin Connoisseur Program en die Bols Around the World handelsbetrokkenheidsprogram. Sy groot sukses het hom in die top 10 vir drankambassadeur beland by die Tales of the Cocktail in 2008, die eerste van vele erkennings wat hy van die toekenningsorganisasie sou ontvang, waarvoor hy ook sedertdien direkteur van onderwys was.

Maar dit was Duff se ervaring met Bols se kernprodukreeks, wat verlede jaar die deurslaggewende stap vir hom was om sy eie genever -produk, Old Duff, bekend te stel.

"Handelsambassadeurs het interaksie met elke belangrike persoon in die ketting en het dikwels 'n wye verskeidenheid kontakte," sê Duff, wat Old Duff as 'n span saambring. “P.R. agentskappe, nasionale en internasionale verkoopspanne, verspreiders, ontwerpfirmas - met sulke kontakte kan u u handelsmerk binne 'n breukdeel van die tyd skep, vir 'n fraksie van die koste en met baie minder mense. "

Giuseppe Gallo, 'n vermouth-kenner en eenmalige handelsmerkambassadeur vir Martini & Rossi, het verlede jaar ook sy eie bekroonde produk, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, bekendgestel. Met die gesogte toekenning Best New Spirit of Cocktail Ingredient by die 2017 Tales of the Cocktail, was Gallo eweneens 'n eenmanvertoning wat verantwoordelik was vir sowel die konsep van die vloeistof as die kenmerkende groen verpakking. Vir jong kroegmanne wat daarvan gedroom het om eendag die volgende wonderlike cocktailbestanddeel te produseer, sê Gallo om 'n tree terug te neem en na die geheel te kyk.

"Bartenders aan die begin van hul loopbaan moet leer om buite hul netwerk te dink," sê Gallo. 'Dit is verbruikers wat u handelsmerk uiteindelik suksesvol sal maak. Innovasie verg moed, dus moenie ophou droom nie, en gee u visie genoeg tyd sonder om dit te haas. ”

Met die koms van digitaal georiënteerde sakemodelle, kan die drankbedryf verander, dieselfde as enige ander. Die toekoms is vol moontlikheid vir kroegmanne wat nou aan die spel deelneem. En soos die veterane wat voorheen gekom het, geleer het, is u dit nooit net 'n kroegman as u die tyd neem om al die sake wat buite die kroeg plaasvind, te verstaan.

'Die toekoms is ongeskrewe,' sê Patino. 'Ek dink daar kom net meer.' Onthou dat as u 'n handelsmerkambassadeur wil wees, u die handelsmerk moet leef en asemhaal. Maar sorg dat u altyd u eie persoonlike handelsmerk verteenwoordig. Dit behoort 51 persent van u te wees en 49 persent van die handelsmerk waarvoor u werk. U kan nie u handelsmerk weggee nie. ”


Werklike robotte wat jou sal laat dink dat die toekoms nou is

Maggie Tillman, bydraende redakteur

(Pocket -lint) - As u iets soos ons het, kan u waarskynlik nie wag vir die dag dat u na die winkel kan gaan nie en maklik (en goedkoop) 'n robot kan koop om u huis skoon te maak, op u te wag en te doen wat u ook al wil wil.

Ons weet dat die dag nog ver is, maar tegnologie word altyd beter. Sommige hoëtegnologie-ondernemings het eintlik al 'n paar indrukwekkende robotte ontwikkel wat ons laat voel dat die toekoms al hier is. Hierdie robotte is nie superintelligente androïede of iets nie - maar hey, babatrappies.

Ons het werklike robotte saamgestel wat u nou kan besoek, met die doel om u opgewonde te maak oor die robotte van môre.


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Kry die nuutste nuus en opdaterings per e -pos direk na u inkassie.

Deur u e -pos in te dien, stem u in tot Fairfax Media se bepalings en voorwaardes en privaatheidsbeleid.

Robot -kroegmanne is 'n wonderlike foefie, en ek daag niemand uit om vir my te sê dat hulle nie na 'n bioniese kroeg sou gaan nie (dit is soos om kluitjies by die aanraakskerms by China Red te bestel). Maar 'n bedreiging? Dit is eintlik moontlik dat die nuwigheidsfaktor 'n heel nuwe gehoor kan lok wat nog nooit 'n belangstelling in cocktails getoon het nie.

Ek dink kroegmanne moet die geleenthede hier raaksien eerder as om die vlamwerpers te gou uit te trek. In die eerste plek het hierdie bot -mededingers beperkings. Sodra u veranderlike bestanddele in die vergelyking gooi, soos vars sitrus - die kernbestanddeel van hele kategorieë cocktails - het u 'n mens nodig. Elke drankie wat vars sappe benodig, moet geproe word en waarskynlik aangepas word om die soetheid/suurheid van suurlemoene, lemmetjies, lemoene en pynappels te balanseer. Elke. Enkellopend. Tyd. Sien u dat die kroegman 'n stroop van u $ 18 daiquiri neem? Dit is nie slinkse gedrag nie, dit is kwaliteitskontrole, en as hulle dit nie doen nie, gaan miskien elders.

Ek kan eintlik 'n groot potensiaal sien vir robots om in tradisionele staafformate geïntegreer te word. Die ouens agter hierdie toestelle is ingenieursgenieë, maar hul cocktail -kundigheid is te betwyfel. "Bartending en die hele ervaring van sosiale drank is in eeue nie vernuwend nie," sê Barry Given, medestigter van Monsieur, in die promosievideo van Kickstarter. Op hierdie stadium lyk dit asof die voorbeeld-cocktails wat Monsieur bevorder, na u vrugtige, flirtige klubhelde uit die 80's en gemengde drankies soos Screwdriver (vodka en lemoensap), Cape Cod (cranberry en lemoensap) en Twin Peach (perskesnaps en bosbessiesap). Dit is skaars 'n verkoop vir almal wat eintlik van cocktails hou.

Maar stel jou voor as jy die bemanning van White Lyan in beheer van die resepte plaas. Die Londense kroeg het die afgelope paar jaar internasionale bekendheid verwerf omdat hy alle bederfbare bestanddele uit hul cocktails (insluitend sitrus en ys) uitgeskakel het om volledige beheer oor hul produk te verkry. Elke kroeg of kroegman kan wêreldwyd lyste en pakkette aan tuisgebruikers en ander kroeë skryf, wat hul handelsmerk en die uitvoerbare Australiese drank in die proses kan help dryf. Wat as kroegmanne 'n kommissie kan verdien op elke skink van hul persoonlike cocktail a la Spotify?


Die toekoms is nou

Aangesien COVID-19 'n heeltemal nuwe toekoms vir vervaardigers geskep het, het tegniese strategiese omhelsing hulle in staat gestel om ondanks die uitdagings te floreer.

Dit was nog nooit 'n maklike taak om die vervaardigingsbedrywighede op koers te hou om deurgaans kwaliteitonderdele uit te skakel nie. En dit neem op baie maniere toe in kompleksiteit namate verdraagsaamhede toeneem en die verwagtinge van kliënte toeneem.

Terselfdertyd het die vaardigheidsgaping geleidelik toegeneem. Aangesien baba -boomers aftrede nader, het dit duidelik geword dat die vervaardiging sy aantrekkingskrag verloor het. Die skrif is teen die muur. Dramatiese verandering is nodig om die vervaardiging weer opwindend te maak. Die toekoms kom - en vinnig.

Dit was natuurlik waar voor COVID-19. Dit is te verstane dat niemand die pandemie of die impak wat dit uiteindelik op vervaardigers sou hê, kon voorspel nie. Skielik word vervaardigers gekonfronteer met 'n nuwe, sosiaal distansieerde norm met opkomende tegnologieë, outomatisering en robotika wat nuwe betekenis kry.

Eenvoudig gestel, daardie toekoms is nou.

Omhels 'n nuwe werklikheid

Soos met baie vervaardigers, het die pandemie die impak van die arbeidstekort vir Roscoe, die vervaardiger van PBC Linear in Illinois, verskerp. "Die grootste probleem was om nuwe mense te vind en hulle vinnig genoeg te maak en dit dan te behou," sê Beau Wileman, 'n ontwerpingenieur wat die fabriek van die toekomstige inisiatief by PBC Linear moet bestuur. "Dit is ondoeltreffend en duur om 'n Die bestuurder stap weg van alles wat hy doen en lei hulle op. "

Peau Lineêre ontwerpingenieur Beau Wileman demonstreer hoe die onderneming augmented reality gebruik om opleiding te bespoedig en kliëntediens te verbeter. (Krediet: PBC Linear) Hierdie situasie het daartoe gelei dat Wileman die haalbaarheid van die implementering van uitgebreide werklikheid, veral Taqtile, ondersoek het om die opleidingstyd te verminder en die behoefte aan bestuurstoesig tydens die proses te verminder. 'Ons het sedertdien die proses waarin 70% van die opleiding deur die headset plaasvind verfyn,' sê hy.

Deur AR -tegnologie in plek te hê, beteken dit dat mense soos Tim Lecrone, direkteur van navorsing, ontwikkeling en kliënte -uitreik by PBC Linear, nie 'n hele dag daaraan spandeer om nuwe werknemers op te lei wat kan spring as 'n hoër loongeleentheid in die Chicago -omgewing opduik nie. In plaas daarvan kyk die nuwe operateurs na basiese instruksies in die sjablone wat in die gereedskapskas geskep en gestoor word. Daar is 'n werkinstruksie vir alles wat verband hou met 'n deelsiklus, insluitend laai, aflaai, inspeksie en aflaai van 'n program.

Die proses om deur die vergrote werklikheidsruimte te navigeer, was relatief maklik, verduidelik Wileman. 'Daar was weliswaar meer 'n leerkurwe wat die veteraan -koördineerders en masjiniste in die mengsel gebring het,' sê hy. 'Dit was miskien vyf dae vir die ouer geslag teenoor een of twee dae vir die jonger geslag.'

Die span van Wileman het aanvanklik probeer om sjablone vir alles te skep, en het vinnig agtergekom dat hulle die sessies te dun versprei. "Toe ons egter ons energie begin toespits op die aanpak van spesifieke dele van die winkel (draaibanke, meulens, slypmasjiene), het ons gevind dat ons meer eenvormige diepte en vloei het," sê hy.

PBC Linear het ook gesien dat baie werkaansoekers uit die gasvryheidsbedryf ontheem is en iets nuuts wil probeer. 'Voorheen sou ons hierdie mense afslag gee sonder bewerkingsondervinding, maar hierdie nuwe gereedskap skep nuwe geleenthede,' sê Lecrone. 'Nou het ons 'n kragtige instrument waarmee mense 'n tablet of HoloLens kan gebruik om 'n taak te leer en die salaris te verdien. As hulle daarvan hou, kan hulle na die volgende vlak gaan deur die volgende stel instruksies te leer. ”

Die voordele van die tegnologie strek verder as die proses, sê Wileman. 'Dit stel ons in staat om die aandag van jonger mense tydens opleiding te behou en voeg ook 'n bietjie opgewondenheid by oor die werk. Dit maak die vervaardiging 'n bietjie meer seksueel en innemend. Dit is soortgelyk aan 'n videospeletjie -omgewing met instruksies wat voor u verskyn.

AR -tegnologie het PBC Linear ook in staat gestel om nuwe konsekwentheidsvlakke oor die hele operateur te skep. "Ons het ontdek dat almal hul eie klein draai het oor hoe 'n masjiensentrum moet werk of wat as 'n goeie deel kwalifiseer, selfs met inspeksieprosedures en dokumente," sê Lecrone. "As almal na dieselfde Manifest -instruksies kyk, skep dit 'n goeie hulpmiddel om te identifiseer wanneer sekere operateurs stappe 13-15 moet herbesoek om hulle weer op dieselfde bladsy te kry van hoe ons ons onderdele wil bewerk en geïnspekteer. " PBC Linear Direkteur van Navorsing, Ontwikkeling en Klante -uitreiking Tim Lecrone (Krediet: PBC Linear)

Alhoewel AR betekenisvol geblyk het om die personeelkwessie van PBC Linear aan te spreek, sal die potensiaal vir nuwe gebruiksgevalle beslis toeneem. Die gebruik van koptelefoon het sedertdien uitgebrei tot die verskaffing van waardevolle inligting oor die verskillende produklyne, robotte en 3D -drukkers van die onderneming. Wileman voorsien ook dat die tegnologie 'n belangrike rol speel in die ondersteuning van produkte. 'Dit is 'n kragtige toepassing om kliënte te laat gebruik om Manifest Connect te gebruik en hulle te help met enige probleme, selfs al is ons 1 000 myl daarvandaan'. 'Ons sien baie skaalbaarheid in die manier waarop ons dit met ons kliënte benader.'

Omhels toegewyde, maklik om te bestuur werkselle het vinnig verskyn as die toekomstige werkswyse vir Rogers, in Minnesota gebaseerde Metro Mold & Design. "Prosesstabiliteit lei tot die operasionele eenvoud," sê Ben Lampron, vise -president van Metro se verbruikers- en nywerheidsafdeling. "Ons fokus op ingenieurselle met die regte toerusting, die regte opgeleide tegniese personeel en die outomatisering om te lewer."

"Deur lasergerig te wees op watter projekte ons in werkselle uitvoer, kan ons omgewings skep waar die kans op sukses baie groter is," voeg hy by. "Deur die geraas uit te skakel, kan ons winsgewender produseer. Hoe meer ons die sel vooraf kan ontwerp, hoe beter. Teen die tyd dat ons 'n projek oorhandig, veral tydens COVID-19, moet ons seker maak dat die operasionele span die produk kan neem en hardloop sonder om bekommerd te wees oor enige knikke in die ingenieurswese . ”

Strategiese tegnologie-beleggings is 'n belangrike deel van die werkselle-alles van outomatiese bewegings, motorbote met gereedskap en outonome robotte vir materiaalhantering.

"Waar ons ook al die hantering of vervaardiging kan outomatiseer, doen ons dit," sê Lampron. 'Dit is die belegging werd, en dit word net die vliegwiel -effek. Vir ons gaan sukses oor gebruiksgemak, opleiding en implementering in 'n portefeulje mense. Om mense se ontwikkeling te verstaan, is egter miskien belangriker. ”Werkers moet die outomatisering kan verstaan ​​en omhels. 'As iets op 'n Saterdagmiddag gebeur, moet die operateur of tegnikus alles kan regmaak.

Uiteraard is volume nodig vir die benadering van Metro om effektief te werk. 'U moet genoeg volume hê om die uitgawes te regverdig, asook die tyd wat nodig is om die sel op te bou en vooraf die ingenieurswerk te doen', sê Lampron. 'Ons fokus op vervaardiging op lang termyn, met 'n groot volume. Dit is belangrik om hierdie doeltreffendheid te besef. ”

Deur konsekwent te hardloop byna amper uit, kan Metro Mold & Design tydige onderdele van hoë gehalte en drasties laer koste lewer. (Krediet: Metro Mold & Design) 'n Familie onderdele vir 'n groot vervaardiger van konstruksietoerusting is 'n uitstekende voorbeeld van wat Metro gewoonlik binne een van sy werkselle loop. Een kamer in die fasiliteit het ses spesiale spuitgietmasjiene wat voortdurend onderdele werk. Dit bevat ook al die materiaalhantering, ingenieurstekeninge, spesifikasies van onderdele en opleidingsdokumente vir elke enkele eenheid.

'Dit lyk op daardie stadium soos 'n maklike bakoond,' sê Lampron. 'U volg die instruksies, voer die onderdele uit, pak dit in en stuur dit uit. Deur die kliënt in al sy verskillende bedrywighede in sy eie kamer te skei, word geraas en verwarring uitgeskakel. ”

COVID-19 beklemtoon die belangrikheid van personeelsopleiding, wat beteken dat diegene wat aanvanklik gereedskap gemaak het, nou weet hoe om vorms op te hang, perse te laat loop, inspeksies uit te voer en onderdele voor te berei vir aflewering.

'Almal wat in die selomgewing is, weet hoe om byna elke taak uit te voer,' sê Lampron. 'Dit lewer werklik dividende en sal in die toekoms voortduur namate ons meer mense in verskillende dissiplines onderrig. As u 'n toegewyde werkselomgewing het, kan u ook baie spesifiek wees oor werkinstruksies, want u weet dat dit net vir die sel is. Almal kan hulle redelik vinnig volg, selfs al is dit buite hul normale posbeskrywing. ”

Die werkselle van Metro Mold & Design sluit in hoëspoedautomatisering, optimale spuitgietmasjiene vir tonnemaat, hulptoerusting en hyskrane. (Krediet: Metro Mold & Design) Werkselle het by Metro so suksesvol geword dat nie net almal toegewys is aan 'n sel wat elke sleuteltaak het nie, maar dat hulle vinnig 'n de facto -uitbreiding van die klant se fasiliteit geword het. "Nie net vanuit 'n vervaardigingsoogpunt nie, maar ook deur die ontwikkeling van ingenieurswese en die versorging van kliënte," sê Lampron. "Die waarde wat ons toevoeg, is nie net die vervaardiging van plastiekkomponente nie, maar ook om hul besigheid en voorsieningsketting genoeg te verstaan ​​sodat ons maniere kan uitvind om hul suksesresep beter te maak."

Volgens Lampron het COVID-19 waarskynlik bygedra tot hierdie omgewing van openheid. 'U weet nie wie op 'n spesifieke dag gaan wees nie,' sê hy. 'As gevolg hiervan verwelkom ondernemings hulp waar hulle dit kan vind. en ons kon ons kundigheid op 'n dieper manier benut as om plastiekonderdele te maak.

Daar sal altyd mense se probleme in die vervaardiging wees. Selfs voor die pandemie was dit 'n konstante stryd om genoeg talent te vind (van operateurs tot uitvoerende ingenieurs) om die winkel te bestuur. Dit is nog belangriker om toegewyde werkselle te skep as u nie talent kan vind nie, wat u nodig het om die mens soveel moontlik daaruit te haal.


Vir iRobot word die toekoms al hoe nader

BEDFORD, Mass. - Sedert Rosey the Robot in die vroeë 1960's vir "The Jetsons" gesorg het, was die belofte dat robotte die alledaagse lewe vergemaklik, 'n bietjie terg.

Rosey, 'n metaalbediende met 'n vurige voorskoot, 'het soortgelyke verwagtinge gestel dat robotte die toekoms is', het Colin M. Angle, uitvoerende hoof van die iRobot Corporation, gesê. 'Toe het 50 jaar verloop.'

Mnr. Angle se onderneming probeer Rosey nog beter doen-met Ava, 'n 5-voet-4-assistent met 'n iPad of 'n Android-tablet vir 'n brein en Xbox-bewegingsensors om haar te help om te kom. Maar tot dusver geen voorskoot nie.

Die afgelope dekade het iRobot, wat buite Boston gebaseer is, na vore getree as een van die grootste robotmakers in die land. Dit het miljoene skyfvormige Roomba-stofsuiers verkoop, en die robotbotsingsrobotte het soldate in Irak en Afghanistan beskerm. Nou, met Ava, gebruik dit video- en rekenaarvooruitgang om robotte te skep wat op afstand kantoorwerk kan doen en miskien eendag meer huishoudelike take kan hanteer.

Einde Januarie het iRobot 'n vennootskap uitgebrei met InTouch Health, 'n klein onderneming wat dokters op rekenaarskerms in staat stel om beroerte -slagoffers en ander pasiënte van ver af te behandel. En hierdie week het Texas Instruments gesê dat dit kragtige nuwe verwerkers aan iRobot sal voorsien wat die robotte kan help om meer interaktief te wees en hul koste geleidelik te verlaag.

'Ons het 'n vaste oortuiging dat die robotika-mark op die punt staan ​​om te ontplof,' sê Remi El-Ouazzane, vise-president en hoofbestuurder van die Texas Instruments-eenheid wat die verwerkers vervaardig.

Mnr. Angle se hoop om die aantrekkingskrag van die bedryf te verbreed, word gedeel deur ander robotondernemings wat gesukkel het om verder te gaan as industriële en militêre gebruike, speelgoed en ander nisprodukte.

Dit is moeilik om robotte te programmeer om menslike gedrag na te boots. Maar die vermoë om die tablette as 'n eenvoudige aanraakskermbeheerder te gebruik, lok meer sagteware-ontwikkelaars, wat toepassings beoog wat videokonferensies kan verbeter, mobiele veiligheidswagte en verkoopkantore kan voorsien en bejaardes kan help om langer in hul huise te woon.

En met hul eie innovasies wat nou die middelpunt van die poging is, stoot die tegnologiereuse - Apple, Google, Microsoft en die halfgeleierondernemings - dinge ook deur.

Beeld

Mnr. Angle (44), wat sedert hy 'n student aan MIT was, aan die voorpunt van robotika was, het gesê dat Ava 'een van die dinge is wat ek persoonlik die meeste opgewonde maak.' Maar hy het gewaarsku dat die robot nog steeds 'n prototipe is en nie voor volgende jaar werklike werkverpligtinge sou aanmeld nie.

Mr Angle beraam dat die vroeë weergawes van Ava in die tienduisende dollars sal kos, hoog genoeg dat die onderneming eers fokus op mediese toepassings met InTouch Health, gebaseer in Santa Barbara, Kalifornië.

InTouch het reeds robotte met video -aansluitings in baie kleiner hospitale, en hulle het lewens gered in noodgevalle wanneer spesialiste nie persoonlik daar kon kom nie. Maar die dokters moet die robotte met joysticks bestuur en manipuleer om die pasiënte te sien.

Mnr. Angle het gesê dat 'n tik op Ava se tabletskerm dit na die regte kamer kan stuur en dokters kan bevry van die meer alledaagse kontroles. Sy karteringstelsel, gedeeltelik gebaseer op Microsoft se 3D-bewegingsensor vir die Xbox, kan die robot in staat stel om na die pasiënt se bed te haas sonder om hindernisse te beland.

Soos die tyd aanstap, sê mnr. Angle dat hy dink dat sakelui die robotte as gevolmagtigdes kan gebruik tydens vergaderings, deur draadloos deur Ava se hoofdeksels te praat en te kyk en haar selfs in die gang te lei vir privaat geselsies. En as die prys van die plakker uiteindelik op die verbruikersvlak kom, soos hy dink, kan Ava, met die arms bygevoeg, pille aan baba -boomers gee of selfs vir hulle skemerkelkies gaan haal.

Gegewe hoe lank ander robotiese deurbrake geneem het, weet Wall Street nog nie wat hy hiervan moet maak nie.

Namate die verkoop van sy stofsuiers en militêre robotte toeneem, het die inkomste van iRobot verlede jaar tot $ 40 miljoen gestyg van $ 756 000 in 2008, en die aandeel het gestyg tot $ 38 per aandeel van $ 7. Maar met toenemende druk vir begrotingsverlagings in die Pentagon, het mnr. Angle verlede maand aan ontleders gesê dat die maatskappy se militêre verkope vanjaar tot 20 persent kan daal, en dat die aandeel vinnig tot $ 25 tot $ 26 per aandeel verval het.

Die maatskappy het 55 van die 657 werknemers wat dit verlede herfs gehad het, ontslaan in afwagting van 'n verlangsaming in die militêre verkope in die Verenigde State, en die hoof van die afdeling het verlede maand vertrek te midde van kommer dat iRobot nie genoeg militêre verkope aan buitelandse regerings gekry het nie .

Frank Tobe, 'n onafhanklike ontleder wat die robotverslag aanlyn publiseer, het gesê dat die robot beperkte gebruike sou hê totdat Ava toegerus was om voorwerpe op te tel en te hanteer. Maar hy het gesê dat die vennootskap met InTouch 'n broodnodige houvas op iRobot in die gesondheidsorg bied. iRobot beplan om $ 6 miljoen in InTouch te belê, en mnr. Tobe sê deur hul tegnologie te kombineer, kan die ondernemings toestelle teen 'n baie laer koste vervaardig en meer ondernemings lok.

IRobot ondervind ook toenemende mededinging van robotika -ondernemings in Asië en Europa, baie gesubsidieer deur regerings wat meen dat die innovasies hul ekonomieë vorentoe sal help dryf. Ontleders sê egter dat iRobot 'n aantal belangrike patente het. En die onderneming het 'n sterk rekord in die vind van praktiese gebruike vir robotte en om dit op die mark te bring.

Mnr. Angle se eerste robot, gebou in die laat 1980's saam met Rodney Brooks, 'n M.I.T. professor, was Genghis, 'n foutagtige wese wat in die Smithsonian beland het. Aangedryf deur mikroverwerkers met slegs 156 grepe geheue, kan dit op ses bene loop. Dit het ook getoon dat robotte geprogrammeer kan word om op slegs 'n paar basiese reëls te reageer.

Die projek het mnr. Angle se belangstelling gewek om eenvoudige, praktiese robotte te bou. Hy, dr. Brooks en nog 'n M.I.T. gegradueerde, Helen Greiner, het iRobot in 1991 begin, het hy gesê, "om robotte te maak wat daagliks mense se lewens sou raak."

Maar die doel was moeiliker as wat hulle verwag het, en 'n dekade van probeer en fout het gevolg. Mnr. Angle het by 'n uitstalling hier in die hoofkwartier van die onderneming gewys op 'n paar van sy vroeë pogings, waaronder 'n robotpop vir Hasbro met die naam My Real Baby en klein wolagtige blou en oranje wesens wat kan skarrel en wegkruip.

Maar, het hy gesê, 'vanaf die heel eerste oomblikke van iRobot, wanneer ek myself aan iemand op 'n vliegtuig voorstel of waar ook al, was die antwoord byna 100 persent van die tyd nie' Hoe gaan dit? 'Maar' Wanneer gaan jy my vloere skoonmaak? 'Hulle wou Rosey van' The Jetsons 'hê.'

'Ons het baie vroeg geweet skoonmaak is 'n uitstekende toepassing, as ons net kan uitvind hoe ons dit moet doen,' het hy bygevoeg.

Maar eers in 2002 kom alles bymekaar, met die instelling van die Roomba -vakuum en 'n dringende militêre vraag na robotte wat gevaarlike grotte in Afghanistan kan ondersoek. Die robotte van 50 tot 60 pond, genaamd Packbots, blyk ook kritiek te wees in Irak met die ontwapening van padbomme en as wagte by kontrolepunte.

Sedertdien het die verkope van nuwe weergawes van die Roomba, wat $ 350 tot $ 600 elk beloop, veral in die buiteland gestyg. Die maatskappy het robotte begin verkoop vir die skoonmaak van badkamervloere, genaamd Scooba, vir $ 280 tot $ 500. Dit het ook liggewig -robotte met videokameras ontwikkel wat soldate in vensters kan gooi voordat hulle 'n gebou binnestorm. Dit bevat 'n model van 30 pond en 'n klein nuwe vyfponder, genaamd FirstLook, wat nou in Afghanistan getoets word. En selfs as hul bevele vertraag, bly die hoogste Pentagon -amptenare verbind tot robotte om geld en soldate se lewens te red.

Die doel van die onderneming, sê mnr. Angle, is steeds besig om robotte te bou wat meer outonoom kan funksioneer of 'op afstand' kan bied-tegnologie wat mense toelaat om op twee plekke tegelyk te wees.

(Mnr. Angle weet iets van die taal. Nadat hy in 2008 verskyn het as MIT -professor in 'n film met Kevin Spacey genaamd "21", het die regisseur gesê dat hy presies gekry het wat hy van mnr. Angle wou hê. "Weet jy, jy kan net nie 'n geek afrig nie. ”)

Mnr. Angle het gesê dat hy ook uitsien na die dag waarop robotte soos Ava arms en selfs skerper sig kan hê.

'Ek hou van die idee dat as u 'n partytjie hou, die robot gesigte kan herken, drankbestellings kan neem, terug kan gaan na die kombuis, dit kan laai en dan terug kan gaan en die mense kan vind en die drankies kan aflewer,' het hy gesê. 'Ek dink dit sal wonderlik wees.'


Welkom by die toekoms: Robot Room Service is hier

Was u al ooit in u hotelkamer, het u roomservice bestel en in u handdoek vasgekeer toe hulle opdaag? Of het u 'n bietjie vreemd gevoel dat daar 'n vreemdeling in u kamer by u is terwyl u in u kleed is - al bedien hy u ontbyt? Dit kan binnekort iets van die verlede wees.

Die toekoms is nou - hotelle in die Silicon Valley -omgewing implementeer robotkamer -diens, en binnekort sal dit in hotelle regoor die land gebruik word. Both the Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley and the Aloft Hotels in Silicon Valley and Cupertino have android butlers who can travel as fast as humans, carry orders weighing less than 10 pounds, and even navigate elevators.

Now at the Crowne Plaza, when travelers order light room service or amenities from the concierge, they may be greeted at their doors by a sleek, silver, 3-foot-tall, 100-pound android called Dash. First Dash is loaded up with the ordered items, then he summons the elevator via Wi-Fi and calls the guest on the phone to say he’s arrived. When he’s done, Dash returns to the front desk and locks himself down in his charging station.

At Aloft Hotels in Silicon Valley and Cupertino, guests who order a small delivery will meet A.L.O. Botlr (short for “robot butler”), who wears a shrink-wrapped Aloft “uniform,” complete with a collar and a name tag. At the door, A.L.O. says “hello,” asks the guests to take their goods, asks how they’re enjoying their stays, and says goodbye. Want to tip him? A.L.O. even accepts tweets using the hashtag #meetbotlr as tips.

Meet A.L.O. Botlr. (Video: YouTube)

A.L.O. was first introduced in Cupertino last year and in Silicon Valley this year. And this month A.L.O. Botlr will be debuting at Aloft South Beach for a test run. But soon, Aloft Hotels will use the robot butler in all of its locations, according to an Aloft spokesperson.

“All of us at Savioke have seen the look of delight on those guests who receive a room delivery from a robot,” Steve Cousins, the CEO of Savioke the Google-backed company that created both robots. “We’ve also seen the front desk get busy at times, and expect Botlr will be especially helpful… freeing up human talent to interact with guests on a personal level.”

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Robotics: The future is now

"This competition is important because it says 'Do whatever you need to do to make it happen,'" said Kronschnabel, a math teacher at Irondale High School in New Brighton. "Instead, it says, 'Here's a box of motors and some aluminum parts and a footprint.' The students aren't used to that. They're used to the recipe, the formula, and they're not getting that."

As educators statewide push for better science and math education, the popularity of an international robotics competition has grown drastically among Minnesota high schools. The FIRST Robotics competition, where high school students build complicated robots to push a ball along and do other tasks, has 54 Minnesota teams this year, up from just two in 2006.

Area educators attribute the growth to dramatic fundraising by Minnesota technology companies desperate to encourage future engineers and a statewide push to improve science and technology education.

"It's a long-term investment," said Dr. Stephen Oesterle, senior vice president of medicine and technology for Medtronic, who pushed other companies to donate.

Later this month, more than 50 teams will meet for the first Minnesota regional at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

"Even the football players and the popular kids at our school are like, 'Oh my gosh, how did you do this?'" said Callie Krummel, an Irondale junior. "Yeah, I built a robot in six weeks with the help of 10 other people. It's pretty darn cool."

On a February afternoon, the robotics team from Minneapolis' Patrick Henry High School -- the "Herobotics" -- toiled in a work room at the Bakken Museum, a science education museum named after one of Medtronic's founders, Earl Bakken. After a pizza break, the team started figuring out how to attach an arm to the robot to control a 7-pound, 40-inch diameter inflatable ball.

"I really liked the idea of having to build, program and drive the robot," junior Guillermo Andrade said. "I want to be a computer programmer."

Junior Ashley Hart laughed about early challenges the team faced: "The first time we ran the robot, it just went crazy. We thought we had it under control, but it just went berserk and ran into the wall."

The competition started in New Hampshire in 1992. Now, it includes more than 1,500 teams from around the world. Founded by entrepreneur Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway, FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

Teams that win their regional competitions get to go to the FIRST Championships in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

In Minnesota, the program's quick growth is largely attributed to Minnesota technology companies that fund the teams, which need $6,000 each just to get in the door, as well as the efforts of Ken Rosen, an organizer who scoured the state for high school teams to compete.

Minnesota companies are providing more than $550,000 for teams statewide, which includes almost $100,000 from Medtronic and its foundation as well as $72,000 from Boston Scientific and $60,000 from the 3M Foundation.

"The issue is, of course, that there aren't enough graduates coming out of the U.S. colleges that are really interested in electrical and mechanical engineering," Oesterle said. "It starts in high school. When kids go to college, they have to have some sense that this is a really cool thing to do."

Statewide, the Minnesota Department of Education has also stepped up its funding of STEM classes -- or classes in science, technology, engineering and math. Over the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years, the department has distributed a combined $4.4 million in grants to school districts for STEM programs.

Officials think that this focus might have made high school administrators more likely to approve teams at their schools.

"This is my 19th year in education, and I've never seen a program that has caused kids to become so fired up about something related to school," said Jim Lynch, a technology coordinator at Eagan High School who works with the school's robotics team, "Blue Twilight." "We have to push them out the door in the evening."

While the Eagan team toiled away one Sunday, Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, a mechanical engineer, stopped by to check things out. Carlson was so impressed that he stayed for two hours and is trying to arrange for the team and its robot -- the Al-uminator -- to visit the Senate Education Committee.

"I'm first an engineer," Carlson said. "And when I decided to go into politics, it's because I've been all over the world and seen how other countries are investing in their young people. We're falling way, way behind. . When I went away from there, I was just rejuvenated. I can't even tell you -- I was so emotional, because this is what we need."


What Do All The ‘Back To The Future Part II’ References In ‘Mr. Robot’ Mean?


Viewers who are currently confused by Mr. Robot need not feel alone. There are a lot of “What the hell?” moments in the series right now. Those of us who watch and rewatch every episode of the series in order to collect Easter eggs and other evidence deeply buried within the show are as confused as everyone else. The storylines aren’t lining up. There’s too many unanswered questions. The most recent episode only exacerbated the confusion. We don’t know if Elliot was asleep or awake. We don’t know if Tyrell was there or not. We don’t even know with absolute certainty if Angele and White Rose really met. It could have all been a lucid dream.

“Mind awake, body asleep. Mind awake, body asleep.”

What we doen know is that Back to the Future Part II has inexplicably become intertwined with the series and some of us are beginning to wonder if the constant references to the movie foreshadow events of a more sci-fi nature. Something is definitely going on, but let’s back up a moment and catalogue a few of these Back to the Future references for context.

In Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to October 2015.

That just happens to be around the same period in which Mr. Robot begins. Here’s Elliot’s phone from the pilot of the series:

Why does Elliot’s phone in the pilot suggest the date is October 2015, when the 5/9 hack takes place five months earlier? Something is amiss with the timeline.

We also know that Back to the Future Part II is, inexplicably, Elliot’s favorite movie. He and Angela have often watched it together.

Elliot and his father were also big fans of the movie. Here’s an old picture of them dressed as Marty and Doc for Halloween.

In last week’s episode, Angela mentioned the movie again while she and Elliot were on the subway. “We have to talk to each other on the subway. It’s a long way from getting high and watching Back to the Future Part II.

In this week’s episode, the Back to the Future references were all in the soundtrack. There were four songs in the episode specifically from the Back to the Future soundtrack: “Night Train,” while Angela was in the van “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” also while Angela was in the van “Time Bomb Town,” when Elliot was in the taxi with Tyrell and “Earth Angel,” when Elliot was with Tyrell at the end of the episode.

Also recall that, after the 5/9 hack, Elliot somehow blacked out and woke up three days later. Where did those three days go?

Ordinarily, I might just think that Sam Esmail was being cute and dropping a lot of Back to the Future references for kicks. However, there are a few things that suggest to me that Back to the Future is more than just a movie reference it’s a plot point. When Angela goes to see her lawyer, for instance, there’s a blackout. The city has been experiencing blackouts, so it’s not unusual, except that when the electricity goes off and comes back on, the television newscast loops back about 60 seconds and repeats itself, suggesting that somehow time is being manipulated. Or that there’s another timeline where the newscast is 60 seconds behind.

Is this a more literal statement from White Rose than we might first assume?

Recall, too, White Rose’s obsessions with time and clocks.

“Have you ever wondered what the world would look like without the 5/9 hack?” White Rose asked Dom in this season’s fourth episode. “In fact, some believe there are alternate timelines playing out that very scenario. That the lives we are leading are the people that we have become.”

Bingo: Alternate timelines.

I don’t want to get too far afield here, because I’m not ready to believe that there is a sci-fi element at play here. But, alternate timelines certainly do go hand-in-hand with the dual identities of White Rose, of Elliot and Mr. Robot, of timelines where Tyrell is alive and timelines where he isn’t, of realities where Elliot is in prison and of realities where Elliot is living with his mother, and of the life that Dom almost had — where she accepted the proposal of her ex-boyfriend — and the life she has now as an FBI agent.

Back to the Future Part II was very much about alternate timelines. Marty and Doc traveled to the future — to October 2015 — and found Biff, who took an almanac, stole the time machine, and went back in time to create BiffCo, a company that invested in toxic waste reclamation and other heavy polluting industries. It’s hard not to see some parallels with E Corp, whose toxic chemicals killed Elliot and Angela’s parents. Is it such a stretch to believe — given the general confusion with timelines and identities in Mr. Robot — that there’s another timeline where the 5/9 hack never happened? Where Shayla and Tyrell are alive? Where Elliot is just a low-level vigilante hacker in October 2015 popping morphine pills?

Last season, when Sam Esmail put “Where is My Mind” on the soundtrack, he was clearly alluding to the Fight Club-like personalities of Elliot. Four songs from Back to the Future aren’t just happenstance. They mean something. If we want to know more about Phase 2, we need to listen.


Imagine your favorite bar in the near future. You walk in, take a seat, and a robot bartender scoots on over and parks itself in front of your stool. It looks a little like if Rosey from “The Jetsons” and Bender from “Futurama” had a baby, if robots could bang. Its base is slotted into a track in the floor and its arms are hella long, nearly dragging on the absolutely spotless, unspilled-upon ground.

Using facial recognition, it identifies you as a Regular™, and modulates its “voice” to the gender, accent, and tone you’ve selected in the bar’s app—“female,” “Midwestern,” and “surly” for me, please. Based on your purchase history, logged ratings, and taste preferences, it recommends a handful of beers currently on tap, along with a suggestion of which one you’re likely to enjoy most, according to its predictive algorithm. (It’s probably an IPA.)

You order verbally, like you would with a human bartender, though blinking twice at the appropriate area of its LED display would suffice. The robot’s right arm, the one with the fingerless, LEGO-like cupped hand, raises, grabs the proper glassware, and spins fancifully as it extends to place it on the bar. The left arm, the one with five Perlick faucets for fingers—each perfectly smooth and slightly tapered and obtusely bent as if poised to play a synthesizer in a minor key—actuates and fills your glass.

Just as the last drop falls, but even before it enters the glass, you feel a vibration in your pocket. The near-field-communication device embedded in the bartop has read the mobile payment information from your phone and opened a tab on your account, including a 10% discount for being a Regular™.

This might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but all that technology already exists—just not yet pulled together in a way to create your Dynamic Robotically Optimized Interactive Drinking (D.R.O.I.D.) bar. That’s the thing about sci-fi: It has the habit of becoming nonfiction if given enough time.

As an example, the android-like robots from Fritz Lang’s 1927, sci-fi-pioneering “Metropolis” took over 73 years to find a real-life approximation in Honda’s ASIMO robohumanoid. In contrast, the video calling software in “2001: A Space Odyssey” took only 35 years to debut IRL with Skype. The military drones from “The Terminator” needed just 17 years to find their way into the limelight in America’s War on Terror. And the human/AI rapport portrayed in “Her” took less than a decade to appear in our everyday lives, thanks to Siri and AirPods.

Using that logic, it’s actually surprising our fully automated, artificially intelligent, smartbar+ doesn’t exist already. Given how far other industries have moved, it’s strange that bars and restaurants haven’t progressed more.

But there has still been meaningful change over the last several years. In the ways we interact. In the ways we order. In the ways we pay. And new habits are taking hold. Contactless payment and curbside pickup might have been used previously, but have become ubiquitous this year. And with a global pandemic wreaking havoc on the service industry, and upending the way we socialize, other habits that were forming are now stagnating. Habits that were ingrained are starting to erode. And habits that seemed inconceivable just a year ago are beginning to stake a claim to our future.

The question is, will any of these shifts in our behavior—in how we approach, consume, or gather around alcohol—lead to lasting change in the way bars and taprooms function? Or will our relationship to booze and the places we drink, and how those places operate, continue to look like it always has?

“The horrible and reassuring thing about history is that nothing ever changes,” laughs historian and author Christine Sismondo. “Not even a tiny little bit.” Sismondo literally wrote the book on bars in America, chronicling the role taprooms, taverns, saloons, and speakeasies have played in American life throughout our national, political, and societal growth.

She maintains that bars won’t look too different on the other side of the pandemic. “You can look back at this institution that has survived so wonderfully for so long, in almost exactly the same form,” she says. But it’s not business as usual for American bars. They’ve never faced a situation quite like the one they’re currently experiencing, battling social distancing and lower-occupancy requirements, earlier closing times and citywide curfews (and in some cases, temporary shutdowns), all in response to a full-blown public health crisis.

Not even the 1918 influenza pandemic could provide lessons for 21st-century bars. At that time, most areas of the country were dry, for one thing. By the time the flu struck the U.S., Prohibition had already been passed by Congress, and many municipal and state governments had banned the production and sale of alcohol. And by April 1920, when the flu was finally beaten back, the 18th Amendment had been ratified, ordering remaining bars closed and alcohol producers shuttered.

(Imagine facing a multi-year, globe-spanning, life-altering, indiscriminately murderous disease without the help of a little sauce to get you through. Eesh.)

But even after all that, and after 14 years of not existing in any kind of legal capacity, when bars finally re-emerged from the national embarrassment that was Prohibition, they looked much like they had in 1917. That’s despite the fact that, as Sismondo is quick to note, state and federal governments tried their damnedest to make bars different.

“They put almal these new laws in place about how things could get served, and who could sell beer, and who could sell liquor,” she explains, “but they came back regardless. And that’s one of the reasons why I think the bars now will be okay.”

She has a point. By all indications, this current pandemic is expected to last less than half the time it took the Spanish flu to run its course. And in this case, instead of the government working to put them out of business, legislation is being drafted at the local, state, and federal levels to help breweries and bars survive. But even so, Sismondo shares a common sentiment: “Dive bars are the ones that I’m most worried about.”

Even before the pandemic, neighborhood dives were starting to disappear. But now that their dark, cramped, and well-worn nature runs counter to the proclivities of a nation in search of bright, open, hygienic spaces, their future is even more uncertain. And changing the nature of dives to be more compliant with safety recommendations changes them in fundamental ways that run counter to their very existence.

“The last place anyone should be is inside a small, enclosed, neighborhood bar getting hammered,” says Michelle Hill, “and I say that with that being one of my favorite things.” Hill has owned and operated the St. James Tavern—a bona fide dive—in Columbus, Ohio for 24 years.

Hill made the decision to close the St. James on March 14, one day before Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered bars and restaurants across the state shut to in-house patrons. She’s remained closed since. “It’s going to be damn near impossible for me to put safety measures in place,” Hill says. “And even if I did, I could probably have about 12 people in here safely.”

At that point, she wouldn’t be profitable. And worse, she’d be risking the health and safety of her own community. So she’s digging in, hunkering down, and planning to stay closed until she, and the country as a whole, can open up safely again. Even with positive vaccine news, she’s prepared to hold fast. “I’m just going to stay closed, as long as I don’t run out of PPP money,” she laments. “It could be next spring or summer, quite honestly. Even fall with the rate things are going.”

The fact of the matter is that change isn’t easy for businesses like hers. She’s considered putting in a small kitchen to rent out, or removing one of the pool tables to install a few tall booths, or expanding into her paltry outdoor space with a few stools. But there’s hardly any wiggle room, physically or philosophically.

“People come to a bar like mine to sit and talk to each other closely, to have conversations with their bartender, to play pool, and to get a little drunk. I could try to change things up and put in barriers, but that would lose the entire vibe and point of being in your neighborhood bar.”

While history may tell us that most things moenie change, current realities suggest some simply can’t. But that doesn’t mean everything will look identical when things come back to life.

“All the laws around alcohol were written during Prohibition,” says Jeff Libby, founder of Table Tap. “So they didn’t foresee people pouring beers from iPads and things.” He’s right about that. Even in their wildest dreams, the puritanical politicos of the early 20th century could have never conceived of a company like Libby’s.

Table Tap specializes in self-pour technology, which allows consumers to bypass the bartender and streamline their drinking experience by serving themselves. This happens, most commonly, via the WallTender, a system that consists of wall-mounted taps, each unlocked by an RFID card reader, and controlled via an iPad display. Think of it like an age-protected, ounce-monitored, interconnected Coca-Cola Freestyle machine for beer, but without the ability to mix and match.

Libby has long believed Table Tap’s solutions make its clients’ businesses more efficient, more profitable, and more enjoyable. But even he admits it can be difficult to overcome the novelty of it all and affect customer habits. “People were very close-minded to the idea in the beginning, everyone kind of knocked it and said it was just a fad, that it was kinda cheesy,” he explains. “It’s always been a challenge to get people to change their behavior.”

In a pandemic, however, when consumers are trending toward less interaction and more automation, self-pour technology is uniquely suited to grow. And there’s plenty of room for innovation. Libby notes that Table Tap is currently in development of a smartphone-based, entirely touchless tap system that uses QR codes instead of RFID cards, with a patent already filed.

But while systems like the WallTender may solve some problems, they create others. Even though the taps aren’t all grouped together, they’re still well within six feet of each other, meaning two people pouring at adjacent stations would not be socially distant. And instead of one or two bartenders being the only ones dispensing beer, each customer is, at present, required to pull the handle, exponentially increasing the amount of contact points and germs being swapped.

Without a crystal ball it’s difficult to discern if self-pour systems or other technological advancements will have a seismic and long-lasting impact on the beer industry, or if they’ll go the way of the Cascadian Dark Ale or Brut IPA and fizzle out after a few years of buzz.

Daniel Levine, a futurist, trends expert, and director of the Avant-Guide Institute, thinks there’s at least a marginal chance for the tech to endure. “One of the things the pandemic has been revealing is that a bunch of trends we didn’t expect to be on our doorstep so quickly, are all of a sudden right in front of us,” he explains. And one of those trends is self-service.

Self-service can take many forms, whether that’s ordering for yourself with a QR code menu, pouring your own via tech like the WallTender, or checking yourself out with a service like Arryved. Arryved’s business has really “thryved” (I’m so sorry) during the pandemic. From March through July, the company’s touchless transaction point of sale service grew from about 400 to 600 “craft beverage establishments”—breweries, distilleries, cideries, and the like—amounting to about $1.5 million in transactions per month.

While Levine sees the self-service trend continuing beyond the pandemic, he doesn’t see it as a universal change. The way he describes it is more of a tiered adoption, a bifurcation of technology and humanity. The lower tier—dives, neighborhood bars, and “bar” bars—likely won’t embrace new technologies, for a variety of reasons. Maybe the initial investment cost is too high. Maybe that kind of change wouldn’t resonate with clientele. Or maybe it doesn’t fit within the “concept” of the establishment.

The middle tier—sports bars, fast-casual restaurants, and “run-of-the-mill” taprooms—are much more likely to include technology in their businesses. These places are about volume, and they’ll entertain anything they can to increase that volume and decrease wait time and impediments to ordering.

Levine compares the mindset to fast food restaurants. “A lot of McDonald’s franchises, for example, are putting in touchscreens,” he says. “And they’re doing that because it will enable them to employ fewer people, and it’s faster and better for them. But this technology is not always better for the customer.”

Think about using the janky self-service screen that’s increasingly popular at airport bars and restaurants. At best, it’s frustratingly complex, requiring you to swipe through page after page of questionably categorized menu items like some schmo thumbing through the yellow pages, searching for anything that might taste decent but sufficiently numb you until the drink cart rolls out. At worst, it’s a completely unusable bricked iPad, supposedly refurbished after some college student atop a giant inflatable swan dropped it in a pool last spring break.

But Levine is quick to note that different types of consumers prefer different types of service. “It’s hard to say which comes first with trends, the chicken or the egg. They sort of grow up together, with the technology changing us, and us changing the technology.”

He draws the analogy of a grocery store. Older people generally check out with an actual human cashier because they don’t want to deal with technology and the hassle of doing it themselves. But younger shoppers prefer the self-checkout terminals because they don’t want to deal with people. Even though it takes them a lot longer since they suck at scanning items, use way too many bags, and definitely do not know the numerical keycode for the avocado or kale they’re buying. So there’s a generational component at play, as well.

Getting back to Levine’s tiered theory: That top tier—high-end cocktail bars, bars in fine-dining restaurants, and most craft breweries—will be unlikely to adopt any automated practices. “We’re going to see humans be meer involved here, because interacting with humans is becoming a luxury. And you’re paying a premium for that interaction, for that service.”

He adds a final thought to really punctuate the exchange. “Outside that premium sphere, the robots are coming for our jobs, eventually, and it’s disingenuous to say otherwise. But it’s hard to get people to change their behavior. That’s maybe the hardest thing. When the pandemic is in our rearview mirror, I think baie of the future is going to look baie like the past did.”

So a futurist and a historian walk into a bar and both order from an actual human bartender. That’s it. That’s the joke.

When Jester King Brewery closed down in March, its employees had no idea when it was going to reopen, or, when it did, what their reality would look like. Because Jester King is a literal farmhouse brewery whose in-person experience always relied heavily on the communal nature of its space and its beer—and often generated festival-sized crowds—the idea of limiting human interaction and increasing social distancing was daunting.

“We knew our entire experience was going to be different,” founder and owner Jeff Stuffings says. “We went from weekend days where we’d see somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 people coming through, and we had to shave that down quite substantially to about 300 people as a maximum at any one time.” To get there, Jester King transitioned to an online-only reservation system that allows customers to book time in two distinct sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, with a hard reset and thorough sanitizing in between.

In a video posted to the brewery’s website announcing its reopening in May, Stuffings explains, “There was a sense of excitement to slowly begin to rebuild what this place had been leading up to the pandemic, and to do so responsibly by really embracing social distancing, embracing the outdoor nature of Jester King, and by embracing technology to rekindle community, but to do so safely and responsibly.”

The idea of using technology to rekindle community seems slightly contradictory given the fact that, you know, the robots are coming for all of us. But to hear Stuffings tell it, it makes perfect, logical sense. In fact, he’s come to see real value in a lot of the adjustments the company has made.

“The biggest knock on our experience was always the long lines,” he explains. “And granted, it would be feast or famine, but on the weekends we would get overrun. Now with the reservation system, our staff knows exactly what to expect. We’d like to have more people on site than we do now, because revenue is down as a result of fewer people. But going back to that huge, festival-like crowd is not something I think we’ll do.”

To make up for the lower on-premise revenue, Jester King is looking to increase sales of canned offerings of non-farmhouse beers like its IPA and Lager product lines, each introduced in late 2019. Additionally, it has seen a huge uptick in sales via home delivery services, which has helped to fill the void, at least somewhat. But Stuffings is committed to keeping the number of guests lower, long-term.

He acknowledges that some people might be upset by that, but he’s quick to point to the enhanced experience for both guests en staff. In addition to the online reservation system, Jester King has pivoted to a QR code and app-based ordering system to streamline its service, allowing customers to spend less time waiting away from their tables, and more time with their family and friends.

Those are the types of advancements likely to endure after the pandemic ends, and to become ingrained in the drinking experience long-term: things that benefit the customer and the business alike. For adjustments like online ordering—both on-premise and off—and curbside pickup, the toothpaste is out of the tube. There’s no getting it back in.

Stuffings sees big things for online ordering via delivery services in particular. “I’ve absolutely loved the rise of third-party delivery options that chip away at the three-tier system,” he says. “It’s not that I’m anti-distributor—distributors are essential to the beer business—but the rigidity of the three-tier system is unnecessary.”

Other breweries with a national footprint seem to agree. Businesses like Sierra Nevada and Bell’s and Deschutes have all incorporated home delivery services, specifically Drizly, prominently on their websites. That’s the type of convenience consumers won’t want to give up on the other side of this. And something that can help breweries make up for lost revenue, with larger margins found in bypassing the distributor tier.

But direct-to-consumer delivery laws are different in every state, allowing some brewers to handle fulfillment themselves, while others, like Jester King, need to rely on third-party services. Similarly, not every locale is as conducive to nearly year-round outdoor drinking as Austin, Texas is.

As such, brewers above the Mason-Dixon line are having to get creative with how they provide safe outdoor drinking conditions for patrons during the less temperate months. Among the many, Solemn Oath Brewery, outside Chicago, has introduced what it has dubbed the Community Dome Forest, a grid of private geodesic domes outside their taproom. (Don’t want to drink in our larger, moderately ventilated hall that might harbor deadly germs? Maybe you’d prefer one of our hermetically sealed galactic igloos that undergo a space-aged ionized air cleaning between intimate chug sessions?)

Others still are facing the harsh reality that, based on their circumstances, they may not be able to welcome guests back safely until the spring, or until a vaccine is widely available—whichever comes first.

As wide-ranging, predictive, and influential as science fiction has been in shaping the evolution of technology, it hasn’t really promised us much about the future of bars.

The Last Resort bar in “Total Recall,” The Snake Pit in “Blade Runner,” hell, even the Mos Eisley Cantina from “Star Wars”—arguably the most famous sci-fi bar in history—all paint a mild portrait of a futuristic bar-going experience. Sure, the patrons might be mutants or aliens, and the decor might be unstuck in time, or there might be some semblance of technology here and there—but the bar itself isn’t radically different than what we’ve been seeking out for hundreds of years.

In each instance, a free-thinking, non-robot being is standing behind an elevated bartop, doling out drinks to, and chatting with, paying customers. There’s music and dancing and no doubt debauchery, which are all things we’ve always sought in the bars we frequent. There aren’t even any innovations in how the booze is dispersed. Bottles and taps and glassware like we’ve always used still reign supreme in these advanced and informed visions of the future.

It's difficult to extrapolate trends into fantasy—accurately, if at all—in areas that are so historically and thoroughly averse to change. Think about what constituted state-of-the-art technology around the turn of the 20th century. Automobiles! Airplanes! THE RADIO! And look at how far we’ve advanced over the last 120 years. Now look at the way a saloon functioned pre-Prohibition. Look at the basic operating principles of a tavern in the 1300s. Go all the way back to the kapeleia in ancient Greece.

While things on the periphery have changed dramatically over millennia, and will continue to, the way humans obtain alcohol has advanced in baby steps by comparison. In these troubled times we find ourselves chattering constantly about “the new normal,” and resigning ourselves to the fact that “things will never be the same.” But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they will.

At least in the ways that matter most. The ways that breed intimacy and familiarity and comfort. The ways that affect how we gather and celebrate and commiserate. The ways that have gotten us through the darkest of times and served as the bedrock of our societies.

And that’s great news, if, like me, you’re none too thrilled about ordering your beer from an artificially intelligent kegerator on wheels.


Kyk die video: A 6 Axis Robotic bartender Barney has high accuracy and precision of movement. (Januarie 2022).