This Bartender Robot Reads Brainwaves to Take Drink Orders

A toy EEG headset and a drink dispenser, hacked together as a mind-reading bar bot.

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Feb 26 2018, 4:39pm

Bartending robots are a favorite stunt for cruises and Vegas gimmicks, slinging drinks with mechanical arms and slick lighting. Some even have the potential to be more efficient than the real, human version.

This bot has none of those bells or whistles. It’s built inside an old clock, surrounded by tchotchkes. But it does one thing its flashier robot-cousins don’t: Reads minds.

As Hackaday reports, YouTuber Robert Prest connected a series of drink-dispensing tubes to a Mindflex headset (a toy that can read EEG brainwaves) and hacked it to select and pour drinks depending on what mode the headset’s reading. “Concentration” selects a new random drink, Prest wrote in the video description, while “meditation” triggers the pour.

He wrote that the “concentration” mode was too easy to trigger, at first, because it kept making a selection while he was trying to remember what to say for the video recording. The combination of careful meditation and intense concentration probably closely resembles the actual brainwaves involved in ordering a drink from a busy real-life bartender.