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Would You Like A Robot To Serve You A Drink?

Ann Thompson
Tokyo Kitty has a unique way of delivering drinks to its customers.

Cincinnati karaoke bar Tokyo Kitty and The Brooklyn Barge in New York City are beta testing high-tech ways to order and deliver drinks. For Tokyo Kitty, on Race near Fifth Street, your cocktail is delivered by a robot.

The robot, made by Bbot, doesn't have arms or legs. Instead, it is a tray the bartender loads with drinks that then travels through the bar's ceiling on a pulley system and is lowered to customers in karaoke rooms.

According to the CEO of Tokyo Kitty's parent company, Gorilla Cinema Presents Jacob Trevino, "We kind of get people who are amazed by it and then we also get people who think it's not robotic enough. I think people imagine robots as R2-D2 and C-3P0 -- actually moving around -- but if you know anything about people consuming alcohol they're not really reliable around those types of robots."

You can watch a video of how Bbot works

For Patti Rollins, Debbie McKenery, Debi and Joe Lauver and Bob Weghorst it was perfect. They gathered for a birthday party and didn't want to leave their karaoke room to get drinks. "I'm really not tech savvy," says Joe Lauver. "You just put the order in on your phone and then the next thing you know a little robot comes down from the ceiling. You get your drinks, and you can even put your empties on there and it'll take 'em back."

Owner Trevino doesn't think every bar needs a robot, but sees the future as people ordering on their phones and then pick them up at the bar.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
The "robot" operates on a pulley system in the ceiling and, after the bartender loads it with drinks, sends it to the customer.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.