Passengers looking for a less human touch when it comes to drinking on planes will want to pay attention to the SkyTender.
The high-tech drink dispenser comes courtesy of SkyMax, a German tech company. They say the robot can mix and pour more than 30 different drinks (both hot and cold). Anything from pop to coffee, cocktails and even wine are all fair game and available at the touch of a button. As reported by psfk.com, the SkyTender made its maiden voyage recently on a flight from Cologne, Germany to Palma, Majorca with the German airline WDL Aviation.
The robot bartender aims to cut costs and increase cabin crew efficiency by serving drinks on the spot, as opposed to flight attendants taking orders. The machine also cuts down on the waste associated with aluminium cans, thanks to the 10 cartons of flavoured syrup housed inside the trolley. Also inside the seemingly mundane exterior of the cart lies a computer, a touch screen, a tank of CO2 and water, based on SkyMax's video.
But SkyTender's appeal extends further than heavy drinkers and robot lovers. According to Mashable, the robotic trolley could save airlines "around $1,500 per month per trolley". A fully-stocked SkyTender can sling 235 drinks, each in 160 mL cups. No word on whether the robot can do anything about irritating passengers, but SkyMax's General Manager Oliver Koth says the trial run was a success.