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Robo-Cocktail 

Wednesday, Feb 29 2012
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We read about BarBot 2012 online a few weeks ago and immediately sent the organizers a “radical clarity” question: “So, at this event, robots are serving drinks?” And the reply was clear: “Yes. Robots are serving drinks.” That’s enough to make us show up, but there’s more to tell. Meet Drink Making Unit 2.0 — from San Jose (natch) — “which elegantly pours any drink you dial up,” says BarBot organizer Simone Davalos. There’s also “pretty but slightly less elegant” Español Borracho, which pours a shot of Spanish coffee and sets it on fire. Skinner Box, meanwhile, who hails from the far-flung reaches of Oregon, distributes random alcohol rewards when you pedal it. Cosmobot was built by Soviet-era space program retreads, and (as its name suggests) it makes cosmos — but with dry ice. Who would build and program all these creatures? People and labs from around the world competing in the International RoboGames, which Davalos describes as “the Olympics for robots.” BarBot is the games’ fundraiser, now in its fifth year. It has a sister event in Vienna called RoboExotica — which we bet costs a lot more to get into and involves more than fancy cocktails.
Fri., March 2, 8 p.m., 2012

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Keith Bowers

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