Robotic Coffee Master from OrionStar and Cheetah Mobile begins serving customers

Robotic Coffee Master schematic

Beijing Orion Star Technology Co., a service robot company backed by Cheetah Mobile Inc., today announced the Robotic Coffee Master, a humanoid robotic barista that it said simulates master-level brewing techniques.

“Our AI-driven Robotic Coffee Master can free human baristas and nutritionists from repetitive labor,” stated Ting Li, a vice president at OrionStar. “While ensuring quality consistency with every drink, it allows the baristas and nutritionists to focus on educating the customers on health and well-being, and creating new drinks.”

Chinese Internet service provider Cheetah Mobile was formed in 2010 and founded OrionStar in 2016. As of July 2020, Cheetah Mobile said it had deployed more than 11,000 service robots, which have served over 200 million people and completed more than 6 million voice interactions daily. The companies said their robots have been adopted by more than 1,800 organizations and used in over 20 scenarios, including epidemic prevention and control, smart retail, and smart public transportation.

Robot Coffee Master specifications

OrionStar said its Robot Coffee Master incorporating 3,000 hours of artificial intelligence learning and 30,000 hours of robotic arm testing and machine vision training. The robotic barista can perform complex brewing techniques, such as curves and spirals, with millimeter-level stability and accuracy — reset error ≤ 0.1mm — claimed the company.

The Robot Coffee Master includes the following technical and design features, according to OrionStar:

  • RGB depth camera provides real-time monitoring of the robotic arms, as well as beverage status.
  • Always-on light indicator displays the robot’s working status.
  • Two six-axis robotic arms
  • Self-adjusting mechanical clamp with grasping claw easily moves objects.
  • Safety features, including an emergency shutoff, anti-collision detection, and electronic safety borders, prevent operational hazards.
  • Modular design equipped with OrionStar Arm OS enables customization, personalization, and quick deployment.

Source: Cheetah Mobile

Barista designed for contactless era

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, OrionStar said the Robotic Coffee Master protects customers’ health by eliminating human contact as it completes all steps autonomously, including grabbing the cup and the pot, grinding beans, transferring the grind, pouring, and serving. The company said this reflects new norms in customer service, and the robot can also serve tea.

“The Robotic Coffee Master can churn out a fresh brew of pour-over coffee every 3 minutes and can work at full capacity 24/7,” said Liang Su, a vice president at OrionStar. “It is a perfect contactless solution for high-traffic areas such as airports and business districts.”

Robot intended to help brands stay current

For its global launch event in Beijing, OrionStar collaborated with Tong Ren Tang, the 351-year-old traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy, to offer fusion coffee drinks that they claimed combine classic taste and health benefits, as well as breathe new life into traditional culture.

“It can revitalize the time-honored brand through intelligent transformation,” said Ting Li.

The Robotic Coffee Master will join OrionStar’s service robot family for smart retail functions, from attracting customers, receiving guests, answering questions, and taking orders to delivering products. OrionStar said it plans to create more humanoid service robots.

The Robotic Coffee Master is available in two models, which OrionStar said are suitable for sites such as boutique cafés, VIP lounges, luxury hotels, smart business campuses, and exhibition halls.

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