Home » Uncategorized » Video: James the Robot Bartender Reads Body Language, Serves Drinks

Video: James the Robot Bartender Reads Body Language, Serves Drinks

People are being replaced by machines just about everywhere. Many groceries have self-checkout lanes, for example, that effectively eliminate the need for human cashiers. What if the same thing could happen at the local pub, replacing the human bartender with a machine equivalent?

What you see here is JAMES, the Joint Action in Multimodal Embodied Systems robot, and he wants to serve you a drink when you approach him at the bar. Funded by the EU, the James project involves such scientists and engineers as Dr. Jan de Ruiter from Germany’s Bielefeld University, along with partners from Crete, Munich and Edinburgh. What makes James unique is that he can read your body language to determine whether or not you’d like to order a drink.

When people were asked about how they signal to a (human) bartender that they’d like to order something, they say that they wave or hold up money. However, when the researchers captured video in an actual bar, that wasn’t the case at all. People simply leaned in, perpendicular to the bar, and made eye contact with the barkeep. If they didn’t want to order, they typically faced away from the bar or chatted with the person next to them. So, that’s how they’re approaching the solution with James.

He’s got a tablet for a face, he’s conversational, and he’s got a single arm to serve drinks. Based on the video below, I suppose the system works, but it does seem awfully slow, cumbersome and awkward. I’d still prefer the human interaction with a real bartender… or, barring that, I might be more inclined to use a touchscreen and a vending machine layout, though that could prove more challenging in an inebriated state. What do you think? Would you want to order from James?

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

Check Also


Try Oculus Rift And Wii To Roam Around On The Back To The Future Hoverboard

Check out how you can fly in virtual space by using an Oculus Rift and a Wii Balance Board.


Amazon Appstore for Android Holiday Deals, Including Free Apps

There are tons of deals from the Amazon Appstore that will be offered starting now and throughout the holiday shopping season. They say that they will have "hundreds of titles that are eitehr free... or available between 50-90% off" the regular price.


Black Friday: Google Play Store Apps, Games and Content on Sale All Weekend

Case in point, if you head over to the Google Play Store right now, you'll find that Google is celebrating all Cyber Weekend with discounts on all sorts of content. This includes many popular apps and games


Black Friday Deal: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-Inch for $100 Off

Did you manage to score any epic Black Friday deals this morning? Are you still ...


Arduino Co-Creator Releases Plans for $200 DIY Mobile Phone

Mellis was one of the people who came up with the now hugely popular Arduino platform and now he has come up with plans for people to build their own cell phone for about $200 in parts.


No Discounts for Apple Black Friday, Just Free Gift Cards

If you were hoping to save yourself some cash as you brave the Black Friday shopping crowds, you'll want to go somewhere other than the official Apple Stores.