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The Robot Duo that Serves Drinks

Now you can be chauvinist without risking death by angry woman! Why treat the fairer sex like trash, when the guys over at Norris Labs have the robotic setup that can be your alcoholic slave? ButlerBot and RoboFridge work in conjunction to bring your ice cold beer straight to your hand. Even better, neither automaton nags!

Here's what happens: when ButlerBot is directed to fetch a beer, it looks for the nearest RoboFridge. By constantly exchanging navigation and location info via infrared, ButlerBot eventually makes it way to the automated fridge. When RoboFridge thinks its serving companion is nearby, it opens the door for docking.

ButlerBot opens its "cargo bay", approaches the open RoboFridge, and sends a signal for the fridge dispenser to release the beer. Once it has the beverage, ButlerBot makes it way back to its master, opening its door to present the beer.

Only two things keep the setup from "must-have" status. RoboFridge's door stays open too long, while ButlerBot needs to move faster. But this automatic setup is one small step for beer fans, and a giant leap for alcoholics everywhere. Both ButlerBot and RoboFridge are clearly in the prototype stages, so let's see if both robots evolve into more consumer-friendly automated appliances.

In the Lab: Beverage Delivery System