Monday, February 18, 2013

Roboexotica 2012 happened! It was great.

This blog may have been offline for a few months - including December, when Roboexotica went down for the fourteenth time.
About time for an overview of the ACRA winners.

Annual Cocktail Robot Awards 14.0:
  1. Cocktail Serving: T.R.E.E. by Marcel Jira, Peter Regner, Jakob Unterwurzacher, Anna Vasof (which, I'm told, is being upgraded for mixing)
  2. Cocktail Mixing: MELMACC by Oliver Höftberger, Robert Neuner, Michael Müller (repeat winner, this one! showed off new features)
  3. Conversation and Interaction: Dancingularity feat. Drinkularity by Kokoromi (a multimedia dance installation that mixed drinks for the DJ and VJ)
  4. Smoking Culture: not awarded in 2012 (*sad face*)
  5. Cocktail Culture: Phenokistomixer by Vesna Krebs and Borut Kumperščak(visuals / virtual cocktails)
  6. 3D Printed Paraphernalia: metalab RepRap by metalab (live-printed cigarette holder rings)
  7. Bar food: Amalettomat by Zwax (vastly improved since when it debuted the year before)
  8. Bar gamification: Fluzl by FH Joanneum students (like the winner of cat. 9 this one let two players compete for a mixed drink)
  9. Minor friendliness: KiBaRo by Robert Martin (let kids compete playing foosball for a healthy drink of mixed fruits)
  10. Most deadly machine award: Reverse Miracle by Veronika Krenn, Oliver Kellow (for leaving a bare 220V current exposed)
  11. Lime award: Cocks Bar by Eder Johannes, Huber Oliver, Leder Norbert, Moser Harald (this otherwise brilliant robot was tainted by (ironic?) sexist images used in UI. the creators promised betterment)
On Roboexotica's facebook page you will find photos and video of the event. If you don't already, "like" it to stay updated on all things roboexotic.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

One Article About Roboexotica A Day


Christian Gjorret over at "Vive Les Robots" will be publishing an article about Roboexotica every day leading up to Roboexotica's opening on Dec 1st, and will then continue reporting live from Roboexotica.

The first article went online today and features a short portrait of yours truly. (Link)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roboexotica 2011 Schedule (Dec 1-4)

The 13th Roboexotica will open its doors on Thursday, Dec 1st, 7pm at Ragnarhof, Grundsteingasse 86-88, 1160 Vienna, and will conclude with the Annual Cocktail Awards (ACRA) on Sunday, Dec 4th.
In addition to the exhibition, conference and awards, there will be a daily live music program and DJs.

Thu, Dec 1st
7pm Opening
7:30pm Live: Billyshes
9:30pm Live: drama&stern
DJ Dophunk 
Fri, Dec 2nd
Downstairs
2pm - 10pm Exhibition
7:30pm Live: Cagdas Dönmezer (Piano)
9:30pm Live: LuiMachine
DJ OH'Liver/Fifty Forint
Upstairs
2pm - 10pm Exhibition
2pm - 8pm Symposium “Out of Control” 
Sat, Dec 3rd
Downstairs
2pm - 10pm Exhibition
8pm Live: Black Star Holografix
DJ Die Rohrwaldindianer
Upstairs
2pm - 10pm Exhibition
2pm - 8pm Symposium “Out of Control” 
Sun, Dec 4th
Downstairs
2pm - 8pm Exhibition
6pm Screening: Cynthia?
7pm Live: oh-fi
8pm Annual Cocktail Robot Awards Gala
DJ Tikitek
Upstairs
2pm - 8pm Exhibition

Link: roboexotica.org
Event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/210174535715544/

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

White Russian Hippie in America

In April the White Russian Hippie cocktail robot showed at two events in San Francisco, California: Barbot, Roboexotica's sister event that emerged from Roboexotic-US, and Robogames.

Barbot was a two night event at pariSoma showcasing around 10 tasteful creations concerning cocktails and robots, some of which mixed and served cocktails like the White Russian Hippie, one of which vaporized spirits for consumtion, and one of which (apparently) turned water to wine.

Having been de-assembled for air transport, the Hippie had limited funcionality to begin with - ice cubes had to be added manually throughout the first evening. Considering this handicap it held up pretty well, serving dozens of drinks to vegans (using soy milk) and non-vegans (regular cow milk). The White Russian Hippie, as the product of Roboexotica's 2009 cocktail-robotics workshop incorporates some of the core values at Roboexotica, like, quite importantly "Grace over Efficiency". So while patrons where waiting for their drinks to be assembled, they were entertained with delicate (and affordable) mechanics at play, as well as the adequate music for their choice of drink (Russian muzak for non-vegans and soft sitar sounds for the vegans).
All went well until the very end of the evening when the main elevator broke and smashed a sensor along the way. That meant a dys-functional Hippie on night two, and serious repairs during the next week.

Here's a video report from cnet tv: http://cnettv.cnet.com/ep-38-barbot-2011/9742-1_53-50102910.html

At this point a big thank you needs to be shouted out to Ken Mochel, who brought his instruments and expertise to fix up the machine.

At Robogames, alas the pouring of real cocktails was limited to the crew party on day one after official closing time, so for three days the flawlessly working robot was manufacturing purely exemplary drinks with water for Vodka and chocolate milk for Kahlua. With ice.

Sadly it has to mentioned the new venue for Robogames - San Mateo Fair Grounds instead of Fort Mason Center - does not provide as nice a flair for cocktail robots or more generally for art bots. Adding to that lack of atmosphere was the lower than remembered number of booths presenting or selling diverse projects and goods across the robo spectrum. The organizers may have concentrated on the battling bots a little too much this year, which would be somewhat excusable since a crew from Discovery Channel was there to shoot for a one hour special about just the fights, which will air end of May. (Disclaimer: This post's author considers the organizers, who are identical with Barbot's organizers, good friends. And enjoys the Robogames for what they are: still the largest international robot competition covering around 70 disciplines including bartending)

As for a medal for White Russian Hippie ... it came in as a close 4th, owing to the guidelines for the judges which reward robots that mix more than one kind of drink over a robot that makes just one (and maybe the Russian looks of the machine?).
Surprisingly Team WRH did still return with a silver medal from Robogames - for a light seeking BEAM robot that was a spontaneous entry.

Flickr sets: Barbot, Robogames

Monday, December 13, 2010

Roboexotica 2010 Coverage


Time to give an overview of the many photos, videos and articles about this year's festival. Thanks to everyone who documented the event and put it up on the intertubes!

Photos on Flickr:
There's the Roboexotica Flickr group, where you'll find pics by Sean Bonner, Phil Stearns and others including yours truly: http://www.flickr.com/groups/roboexotica_festival/.

Videos on YouTube:
Melmacc, Layerbot, Rotsch-o-mat, Wodka Closett ... and more.

Blogs and Media:
Fashioning Technology, BoingBoing, and there's a collection of links to german language media and blog reports on the Roboexotica facebook page (like this scan from Wiener Bezirkszeitung): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roboexotica/150551977764.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Robexotica 2010 ACRA winners

The Annual Cocktail Robot Awards 12.0 were handed to the deserving winners on Sunday, the closing night of Roboexotica 2010.
Serving Cocktails: Amboribot by Daniel Schatzmayr, Andrea Reiss, Nora Neumann
Mixing Cocktails: Layer Bot by Bernhard Kubicek
Conversation: Daredroid by Jane Tingley, Anouk Wipprecht and Marius Kintel
Fire & Smoke: Desoberation Chamber by Dixie Red & Heisl Amir
Other Achievements: Kitzel den Zapfhahn by FH Joanneum
Hardest Partying Robot: 12" pianist by Jesse Zbikowski, Franz Ablinger, Phil Stearns
Tenacity: Benny the Booze Organ by Ryan Finnigan, Aaron Beck and Lars Vin Andersen
Most Pleasurable Side Effects: Exciterator by Crashspace LA represented by Sean Bonner
Most Beautiful Execution: Rotsch-O-Mat by Roger Weber
Most Wasted Alcohol: Slow Shot by David Brunnthaler, Christian Katzinger, Marcin Szostak

... and a lime for most disgusting look and taste went to W.C. - WODKA CLOSETT by students of FH Joanneum.

To learn about the Honorary Mentions that were passed out have a look at roboexotica.org/index.php?winners2010.
For a short description of all participating robots head to roboexotica.org/index.php?robots2010.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Roboexotica 2010: counting down

One month to go until this year's iteration of Roboexotica the world's leading festival for Cocktail Robotics and the Annual Cocktail Robot Awards!
Date & Location: Dec. 2-5 / moë, Thelemanngasse 4, 1170 Vienna

We continue our nomadic phase, as last year's venue is a construction site right now and appropriate(ly affordable) locations are scarce.
We expect a number of international and local participants to make this another special year for Cocktail Robotics with a nice extra serving of Swiss contributions.

Links:
www.roboexotica.org
Roboexotica on facebook
facebook event page
location & map

White Russian Hippie, televised

In January of this year, the outcome of last year's Cocktail Robot workshop mixed White Russians (and White Russian Hippies(*), the vegan version of the cocktail) at an event organized by Vienna Independant Shorts (VIS) - and was caught on TV camera.
Later this year it appeared in the arte.tv magazine Kurzschluss (Short Circuit).
And much later this year, I stumbled upon the clip online. Here it is - WRH appears towards the end of the video.



(*) ... which gave the name of the contraption: "White Russian Hippie"

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Barfly / was: VEKKS-Gondel

After Chris V. heroically repairing it from it's test run two weeks ago until deep into the night before, Barfly had another run delivering flying cocktails at VEKKS yesterday night.
Despite numerous fixes described to me by Chris's in-house deputy-electrician Steve, the delivery to crash (not literally gladly!) ratio was about 1:1 around midnight when I left (quite un-barfly like) to get some good night's rest.
I hope the re-building of this ancient cocktail robot continues to make good progress so this convenient method of drink delivery can gain some popularity among Vienna's night owls once again.



The Barfly flying cocktail delivery system has been operating in the years 2000 and following under the name of VEKKS Gondel or the Gondola and is being revived under the supervision of cocktail robotics veteran Chris Veigl.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gigapan Interactive Image of Robomoji

This pic was taken by Rich Gibson at Roboexotica back in December. It's an amazing gigapan image you can zoom into to see every little detail of the machinery.

Enjoy!
(Robomoji - multiple ACRA winning mojito mixing robot by Robert Martin)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

NYT talks Cocktail Robots

A late heads up about Roboexotica being mentioned in the New York Times over a week back. Yours truly was approached by a journalist preparing an article about cooking robots in which he was also going to mention cocktail making robots, so I ended up being quoted a few times in the article!
The headline of the article awesomely reads: "Just Like Mombot Used to Make".

Links: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Barbot 2010 - Californian Cocktail Robot Fest

Last week our friends on the american west coast celebrated Cocktail Robotics at San Francisco's DNA Lounge.






Roboexotica's Johannes Grenzfurthner was there to hold the opening speech and he brought some of his students along who had been excelling at Roboexotica last Dec with their Whiskey serving robot.

The video above looks like it was quite the success, and I did spot one or two new cocktail robots, yet unknown to myself. David Calkins and Simone Davalos of Robogames, who organize Barbot have managed to demonstrate just how hot the hotbed of cocktail-robotics has become in the Bay Area!

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Monday, December 07, 2009

VCRA 1.0 Winner: Misprint Thursday

Re-post from Mechatiki Research blog:
In a successful mixed-reality ceremony, Misprint Thursday was awarded the first Virtual Cocktail Robot Award for her creation Wodka Bot.
The RL ceremony of the Annual Cocktail Robot Awards was video-streamed into SL, and when the moment came to award the virtual prize the RL video projector was switched to show the inworld scene, where an illustrous round had assembled to celebrate - and witness another world's first: qDot Bunnyhug's RL cocktail robot being controlled from within Second Life. A former Linden Lab employee specializing in controlling sex-toys via SL, he wrote the needed code in 15 minutes as he claims.

Thanks to CYlandSL for hosting this event, Pinkpink Sorbet and 5tefan Negulesco for keeping the stream alive and everybody involved for making this work!

Update: qDot's mixed reality Rum & Coke contraption is featured on Hamlet Au's New World Notes blog!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Awards: awarded.

The Annual Cocktail Robot Awards have been awarde to a list of worthy recipients. You can get the complete list here: http://www.roboexotica.com/?acra
And along with the real world robots, one virtual cocktail robot received an award in Second Life in a mixed reality ceremony.
More of all that later, for now I just wanted to get out the winners!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ACRA 11.0 + VCRA 1.0 = Awesome Beta


You are questioning the rationale behind virtual cocktails made by virtual robots? Well once upon a time people thought making real robots mix drinks was crazy. Hello?!

In any case we are showing our appreciation for cocktail robots in their virtual incarnation by awarding the first Virtual Cocktail Robot Award this year in an inworld ceremony in Second Life (TM), that will be part of the ACRA event at Roboexotica which will be video-streamed into SL.
Join us either in real life in Vienna, or if you prefer at the virtual venue which is hosted by our friends of CYlandSL.

Friday, November 27, 2009

t < 1 Week! OMG Cocktailrobots!

Our little workshop has produced a robot that will offer the choice of a vegan (!) version of White Russian; the artist-in-residence Americans are tinkering away in their laboratories; Bar2D2 has arrived in 2 neat crates ...
Roboexotica is near! Opening Dec 3rd 7pm.
This year at a new location:
"Drinkomat", Missindorferstr. 21/ Stiege 7 / 2. Stock, 1140 Vienna
(http://www.roboexotica.org/?location)
... showing a lot of great new cocktail-robots!
Conference: Sat Dec 5 2pm
Annual Cocktail Robot Awards ceremony: Sun Dec 6 7pm CET

(http://www.roboexotica.org/?schedule)

RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177816081781&ref=mf

Along with the 11th ACRA, we will this year give away the first VCRA - the Virtual Cocktail Robot Award.
The real life ceremony will be video-streamed into Second Life (TM) where the virtual award will be given to a deserving avatar.

If next week doesn't end up being too hectic I plan to post a little more information on the cocktail robots that are coming and our program.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

t < 1 month


Roboexotica imminent! All cocktail roboticists on deck, soldering irons plugged.
We invite you to join us at the 11th Roboexotica in history from December 3-6!
While we are still trembling about getting one of the most interesting robots (Bar2D2) from the US over here (cross your fingers that there is a reasonable shipper somewhere), the preparations in Vienna are beginning.
This year a new location has to be promoted in order to get people to find us - we moved the event from Museumsquartier to the former manufacturing halls of a local liquor dispenser manufacturer, Drinkomat, in Vienna's 14th district, Missindorferstr.21. To warm both the location as well as ourselves up for the festival, we are organizing a cocktail robot workshop right there this week.
I am happy to say this year we will also see a number of young blood from Austria entering the cocktail robotic arena, alongside some familiar names from overseas like Mitch Heinrich, who pleased us with Fairy Juicer last year. He's monochrom's artist in residence and will be joining us in the workshop effort. Kyle Machulis is another mono-a.i.r. who will no doubt make the Annual Cocktail Robot Awards interesting.
The countdown is on!

Monday, October 12, 2009

CYland SL Opening: Snails Lab!

Our russian friends of Cyland Media Art Lab have been developing a gallery inside Second Life (R) which is due to be opened this sunday.
Cyland Media Art Lab, an artistic laboratory based in St. Petersburg and New York, arrived in SL! As it opened its doors quietly in summer we now want to point out that there will be an opening-event on Oct. 18th, 10 am SLT!
["Every snail is an artist." - video streaming from RL]


CYland SL coordinator Pinkpink Sorbet will be streaming painting snails live from her RL home and Magggnnus Woodget, my inworld avatar has been preparing a couple snail themed surpises!
Join us for the event Sun Oct 18th, 10am SLT - There will be robots. And there will be cocktails! Follow this SLUrl for a teleport. (If you don't have an account yet, the link will take you to a place where you can create one for free)

(via Mechatiki Research)

Friday, October 09, 2009

1st Vienna Cocktail Robot Workshop!

Some of the world's most renowned cocktail robot builders are going to teach up to 15 participants how to make a cost effective cocktail mixing robot from Nov 9-14 in the 1st Vienna Cocktail Robot Workshop.

With Chris Veigl and Franz Ablinger two seasoned Roboexoticans are willing to share their experiences. My role in this effort is clear: Providing the know-nothing perspective of someone who can be considered an interested amateur. Together we are presently prototyping to find an easy to build configuration, that can be varied easily enough to provide for several totally different robots, based on an Arduino controlling unit. Reinforced by last year ACRA winner Mitch Heinrich we had a rather nice break-through yesterday (Foto), finding an amazingly simple dosing mechanism that will be very useful come November.

With possible other guest lecturers in the loop this week is a chance you don't get very often - as well as the fact that up to 4 participants can opt to own their cocktail-robot after 5 evenings of hard labor. The sixth day will be dedicated to testing the contraptions (or knowing cocktail-robotics - fixing. All participants are invited to present the works they helped create at Roboexotica 2009, Dec 3-6.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

@beerrobot pours beer. Wired....cold. beer.


(photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid)

Good old Chassis has got competition in the free-beer robotics class. The tweeting @beerrobot set free by Wired.com has debuted in San Francisco yesterday night at a local brewery:

@beerrobot: I'm here @21stamendment. Come see me! http://yfrog.com/5dc8ikj about 19 hours ago from Tweetie
@beerrobot: I have so many new friends! http://yfrog.com/3qmrxj about 18 hours ago from Tweetie
@beerrobot: I am so popular. I love giving people beer! http://yfrog.com/3or4xyj
about 18 hours ago from Tweetie
@beerrobot: Hello? Where did everybody go? Hey guys! I want to go home now. Hey! 40 minutes ago from twhirl
First impression from overseas: the robot seems to have a nice personality, but so does Chassis - and to be viewed as a serious competitor this one will have to improve it's looks, I'm afraid.