Royal Caribbean cruise ships made headlines earlier this year as the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, pulled into port in Southampton.  After 32 months in construction the ship was finally complete, measuring almost four football fields in length, and built from over half a million individual components.

In addition to the list of superlatives that accompany the record-breaking ship, Royal Caribbean’s floating city also plays home to the tallest slide at sea, spacious state rooms complete with virtual balconies showing real-time views of the ship’s destination, and a bar served entirely by robots.

The Makr Shakr is the world’s first robotic bar system that is controlled by users to create a limitless menu of cocktails, concocted and served by the bar’s robotic arms.  Most recently installed on the Harmony of the Seas, the robotic bar is staffed by the customers, who create their tipple from scratch using a drink-builder mobile app. A collection of more than 140 spirits, 16 mixers and various garnishes gives customers the opportunity to create over 141,790 different cocktails, and the perfectly co-ordinated arms can whip up more than 120 drinks in an hour.

Once the orders are in, the bionic arms can swing into action, collecting spirits and mixers from the array of optics above it, shaking and stirring the cocktails. Customers are notified that their drink is ready via the app and can unlock the beverage using a custom QR code.

In a world where robots are being integrated into countless aspects of human life, the bionic bar relies on the creativity of not only its users, but its designers as well.  To give the robotic arms their smooth, dance-like movement, their motions have been programmed by tracking the movements of their human bartending counterparts, allowing them to mix the perfect cocktail with the lightest of touches.

The Makr Shakr is currently sailing the world on four Royal Caribbean ships, and a smaller, portable version is even available to hire for functions on land.

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