One robot uses 25 bottles placed upside down on the ceiling to make cocktails. Another robot uses a knife and ice axe to sculpt the perfect ice ball in human time.

As South Korea transitions from intensive social isolation to what the government calls “isolation of daily life”, robot bartenders are shaking up Korean cafe and bar culture.

They also look very fashionable.

Cabo, who is 6 feet tall, wears a tailored vest and bow tie, and tells how he was carving ice whiskey on the rock behind Coffee Bar K in Seoul.

He said in Korean: “Did you see it? Made a beautiful hockey puck. Enjoy a cold whiskey.”

Cabo made his debut in 2017, but now his presence is particularly reassuring, as the bar hopes to encourage customers to return to entertainment venues after the coronavirus outbreak.

“Since this place is usually full of people, customers tend to feel very anxious,” said Cui Yuanyou, the bartender who assembles the drinks. “I think if robots make and provide ice cubes instead of making them ourselves, they will be safer.”

In Cafe Bot Bot Bot Bot coffee bar, robot arms will shake mojito cocktails and other cocktails. Manager Kim Tae-wan also pointed out that “drink robots” can provide bartenders with consistent quality, which bartenders cannot provide of.

Although the robot pointed out the key qualities that the robot bartender lacks, the customer seemed encouraged by the safety provided by the robot.

Moon Seong-eun, a 21-year-old college student, said: “It’s disappointing that you can’t talk to the bartender.”

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“One of the benefits of going to a bar to drink is that you can chat with them, talk about drinks or my concerns.”


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