Track 1: Meet the San Francisco barista that’ll never need a coffee break.
Track 2: This is Café X. Unlike most coffee bars, Café X is fully automated and serviced by a 6 axis Mitsubishi robotic arm and two coffee machines. Though one or two human staff members are also on location to answer any questions and clean the machine.
Track 3: While the arm is a standard piece of hardware in factories, Café X engineers have programmed it to be able to handle cups and keep track of orders. The coffee machines themselves are calibrated by each of Café X’s three local roaster partners to ensure a consistent, quality cup of coffee every time.
Track 3: Customers can either place their orders via a smartphone app or use one of the café’s kiosks to select the drink they want as well as specify any add-on flavors or sugar.
Track 4: Each drink takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to make depending on the order. Once finished, customers receive a 4-digit order number, which they enter at the bar to receive their drink.
Track 5: But CEO, Henry Hu sees even bigger potential for the machine.
SOT (Hu): 6:36 “As we serve more customers, we’ll have some good data on how we can improve the estimated wait time as well as offer order scheduling. And then the logical next step for that would be to use geo-fencing to predict the customer’s arrival time and making optimizations like if two people order the same thing, but one person arrives first we can give them that drink first.”
Track 6: San Francisco is the company’s second location. Café X launched their first machine in a Kong Kong office building several months ago which, according to Hu, currently serves more than 1,000 drinks a week.
Track 7: Hu would not give an exact price for the system, but did say that the machine cost about the same as what it would cost to renovate and open a traditional coffee bar.
SOT: (Hu): 8:35 “At this point, we don’t have too much cost savings. We are more focused on just giving people a good experience.”