New Las Vegas Strip bar features robot bartenders — VIDEO

Updated July 5, 2017 - 5:54 pm

They’re no Sam Malone, Al Swearengen or Moe Szyslak. But the two characters behind the bar at the Strip’s newest watering hole — and the first of its kind in the nation — have plenty of personality.

What they don’t have is names (more on that later). That’s because the featured bartenders at Tipsy Robot, which will open Friday at the Miracle Mile Shops, are indeed robots, even if they don’t get tipsy.

Tipsy Robot is the brainchild of longtime local hospitality professional Rino Armeni, chairman of Robotic Innovations. The bar is the only land-based operation of its kind in the world, although there’s one on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

Here’s how it works: Customers belly up to one of Tipsy Robot’s 33 stations, each complete with

blue-painted steel bar stool and permanently mounted electronic tablet. They can scroll through menus of eight classic and 18 signature drinks, all of which can be customized, or can choose a purely custom option.

“I think the millennials are going to enjoy doing that,” Armeni said.

Each drink is $14, including tax and tip. Customers enter payment information and get a QR code, a type of digital barcode, on their mobile phone.

Then one of the robots springs into action. With surprisingly human-like motions, it turns to a nearby compartment to retrieve a cup, which it places in a slot on the bar. Then the robot moves to another compartment to fill up its “head,” where the drink is mixed, with ice, sugar and mixers, and then the drink is shaken or swirled with motions mimicking a human bartender. The head is equipped with two hatches for the addition of ingredients, and they at times look very much like winking eyes.

The robot then reaches for one of the 152 bottles of liquor suspended from the ceiling. A garnish (including some the robot cuts itself) is added, the robot pours the drink into the cup and the cup slides to the front of the slot, to be retrieved by the customer with the use of the QR code. It all takes from 60 to 90 seconds, and between drinks, the robots clean themselves with steam.

During initial testing Monday, the robots were a little glitchy, the motion stopping when the robot reached for an empty liquor slot or when a photographer’s lens crossed the invisible safety barrier that shuts down the system should an overly curious or tipsy human try to get too close. Representatives of the Italian software manufacturer (the robots themselves are made by a German firm) were on site, and Armeni was sanguine about the Friday opening.

“When you plug in a new system, sometimes it takes a while for the two parts to understand each other,” he said.

Interest on the part of the public clearly was building Monday. The bar’s front and side entrances near Cabo Wabo Cantina have mesh curtains and passers-by clustered around them to talk to Tipsy Robot’s silver-clad “galactic ambassadors,” who will assist customers with ordering and occasionally serve drinks.

“People are very curious and excited,” general manager Danielle Galindo said.

“They’re all waiting to find out what’s going on,” Armeni said. “So far the robots have not complained.”

Galindo’s staff of 12 includes human bartenders, who will serve craft beers, Champagne and mimosas at a bar along Tipsy Robot’s front corner. Plans are to also have a mimosa and bloody mary cart on weekends.

“And they get the free show with the robots,” Armeni said.

It is indeed a show. Between their mixologist duties the robots occasionally dance in unison, with motions that somehow manage to evoke The Rockettes. A video screen above them provides robot trivia (“The first robot was a steam-powered pigeon in Greece, circa 400-350 BC”) and a trivia quiz.

More Tipsy Robot locations may be in the works; Armeni has worldwide rights to land-based operations, while Royal Caribbean has the water-based rights.

Oh, and back to those poor unnamed robots: They won’t toil in anonymity for long, because Armeni plans a contest to name them.

The launch of Tipsy Robot at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood has been delayed until 4 p.m. Wednesday as officials untangle snags in the business’s sophisticated payment-collection system. According to Tipsy Robots, the system is taking too long to process customers’ e-mail information to set up an initial payment account.

The bar had planned to open Saturday morning.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Entertainment
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like