NEW CONCEPTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Heineken trials “zero-contact” robotic bar

The concept uses technology created by robotics engineers and students from the University of Sydney.

A “zero-contact” bar selling alcohol-free beer has been launched in Sydney, courtesy of international beverage company Heineken.

Part of its “Now You Can” campaign, the brand’s new concept features two robotic arms,
developed by a team of robotics students and engineers from the University of Sydney.

The non-alcoholic beer is delivered through a conveyor belt that runs through the bar, eliminating person-to-person contact.

“The students programmed the robots to recognise when customers approach the bar and then hand them a beverage. Exploring this concept and putting it into practice, was a great way for our students to leverage the work they had done in their lab class,” Stefan Williams, University of Sydney head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Australian Centre for Field Robotics marine robotics expert, said.

The site, open from 15 July to 18 July at Darlinghurst, comes as physical distancing guidelines remain in place due to COVID-19. Opening hours are from 11am to 6pm each day, with the beer being free for customers.

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