Want to order an espresso without some jerk going on about Jodorowsky's early acid Westerns (as if you didn't already know!)? Then check out Briggo: the world's first barista robot, ready for you to try out at UT's Flawn Academic Center, and soon to expand to airports, hospitals, and other public domains that require hassle-free caffeination and are coincidentally extremely vulnerable targets for a suddenly sentient takeover.
Using organic Peruvian beans roasted locally at Third Coast, Briggo's movements (hidden behind a veil of flatscreens that count down until your drink is ready) have been mapped from those of one of Caffe Medici's top bean-studs, automating details down to the PSI of his tamp, position of the milk steam wand, and the adjusting of grind-fineness depending on variables in the espresso machine, resulting in pristine 2oz, 25sec shots -- perfection as patient as the 1987 Utah Jazz's three-man weave.
If you're afraid of the touch-screen on the robot's front, order using a mobile app that saves your card info and drink history, allowing you to quickly order your pick-me-up (brewed, latte, chai, mocha, or espresso) with included additives like various syrups, cream, and sugar; the app also shows where you are in the current queue, so you don't have to just stand there while Briggo talks with some alterna-chick about its new band, The Devon Jawa Synth Explosion, which has nothing to do with robots, or baristas, or anything.
Currently Briggo is only pouring hot drinks, and can't yet make latte art, but both of these issues will be addressed in future versions -- after that, you can look forward to a gleaming metal machine telling you all about its favorite scene in El Topo.
Published: November 22, 2011 at 4:00am EST
2400 Inner Campus Dr
Austin, TX 78712
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