The robot serving up cocktails in the video probably looks familiar for SOLIDWORKS users because it’s Baxter, the SOLIDWORKS mascot, from Rethink Robotics! The robotics team at the University of Maryland Robotics Department have developed an extraordinary program that allows artificial intelligence to learn how to properly mix a drink just by watching a human first and mimicking the steps.
The innovative part is that Baxter (called Julia by the robotics team) can get the exact measurements because of the unique programming and camera attached. Previous automation programs in AI meant the measurements for the cocktail would have to be pre-programmed into the code and then the robot could access that data when a certain input is made–such as a martini–but AI learning the correct measurements by simply watching is unprecedented.
The team behind the robotic bartender are Yiannis Aloimonos and Cornelia Fermuller of UMD Robotics.
Even for machine learning and AI, CAD software has a place. A design still needs to be envisioned, created, and tested before we can get to the final step of a robotic bartender such as Julia.
The UMD Robotics Department has a YouTube channel where you can see more robotics projects as well.