I live for my morning Mocha and I used to be a huge Starbucks fan, but over the years—as that company ramped up volume—the quality went down. I’m not a fan of coffee that tastes like it was burned. In addition, here in Las Vegas, the line to get “Starburned” coffee is too long for me to go through and still be on time for an event or meeting.
Something closer to my job as a technology analyst, is that I’ve been concerned that tech companies don’t get the point that robots will, in a short number of years, potentially outnumber PCs. Eventually, they’ll outnumber smartphones. Both concerns were addressed this week at Dell Technologies World 2019 with the Briggo Coffee Robot launch. This isn’t something you’d buy for your house, but it is something that could replace the Starbucks here at the Venetian-Palazzo.
Let me explain.
Briggo Coffee Robot
The Briggo Coffee Robot is like a small version of an automated coffee factory. It has internal robotic arms that handle your drink, unique milk and coffee components that can highly customize your drink, and is cloud connected so you can order your drink in advance on your smartphone and have it waiting, securely, for you when you get to the machine.
This system uses Dell technology heavily and it has a unique software package that provides a high level of customization. You can select the type of milk you want; you can select the temperature you want; you can select how sweet or chocolaty you want your drink, and, of course, you can select the size of the drink.
Inside the machine (it has windows) you can watch your drink being made, and once made, the machine puts the drink in storage until you walk up and either use your credit card or a single use code so the robot knows you are there and can serve you. In use (Briggo Robots are installed in some airports), you can order your drink when you land, and grab it quickly as you rush by the machine between flights with something like a 30 second delay.
I’ve been drinking mochas from this machine every day I’ve been here so far and damned if they aren’t the best I’ve tasted, even from a human barista. But my biggest issue is often time and I appreciate the fact I can cut my time to drink down so I can grab it on the run with a lower risk that someone else picks up my drink or the barista gets it wrong. That really drives home the point that a robot can make a better, more convenient cup of coffee than a human can provide. In addition, the robot doesn’t get tired, doesn’t have personal problems, doesn’t have health problems, doesn’t get angry, and doesn’t act out. It just makes a great cup of coffee that is very competitively priced.
Wrapping Up: Our Robotic Future
If you think about it, the Briggo Coffee Robot is basically a factory in a box. You put in ingredients and then it manufactures drinks to custom specifications in real time. There are other robotic food service efforts in test; robotic burger kiosks have been in trial and are likely the next thing to go fully automated for much the same reason as we got this coffee effort.
These systems are driving companies like Dell Technologies into robotics with Briggo offering a great example of how the company’s technologies are making a difference, ranging from servers to workstations to some of its embedded, security, and IoT efforts. Briggo couldn’t work without Dell and it will help drive Dell further into robotics so that, in a few short years, much of what we consume daily will come from robots like this.
Thanks partially to Briggo, Dell will be a part of that future and, I expect, that will help drive many of the other technology vendors into this space. Hopefully, for their sake, not too late.