Recently there has been a video circulating around that shows a robotic arm failing while brewing coffee.
People are quick to say that robots cannot replace humans yet. But is this robotic really meant to replace humans? Personally, I felt that this setup is more for an exhibition rather than making coffee. Don’t get me wrong, it still makes coffee but there are better and more efficient ways to make coffee. The robotic arm that you see in the video has too many points of failure. They can install multiple sensors and cameras to prevent such incidents from happening again. But why do you want to have so many possible points of failure to begin with?
If they really want to make a machine to brew coffee, it wouldn’t have so many moving parts. It will most likely be just 1 boring looking machine where coffee powder enters from 1 end and coffee output from another end. Just like the fully automated espresso machines you see at Starbucks. I don’t think it is difficult to make such a machine for traditional kopi. (or maybe there are already machines doing it now)
Let’s be honest. The robotic arm we see is just for show. It’s an attraction. It’s not meant to make coffee efficiently. And I think we need to stop using robots in the wrong way. A robotic arm is useful in many situations but not for brewing coffee.
This reminds me of an old news regarding a restaurant using drones to deliver food from the kitchen to the diner’s table. Sounds impressive. Got lots of news coverage when they demonstrated it to the media. But it just doesn’t make sense to deliver food in a small restaurant using drones. The drone can’t carry heavy stuff. There are many people walking around in a restaurant and accidents might happen. And let’s not forget that drones are rather noisy.
No prize for guessing if that restaurant is still using drones.