back to article El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

The Register needs to build a robot capable of transporting multiple pints of beer without spilling a drop. Can you help? Vulture Central has moved to a shiny new shared collaboration space in central London, which, among other exciting advances, features a selection of beers to refresh thirsty hacks, weary from a day of …

Page:

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Before the electronics...

        Why do you need the containers ?

        Make a beer cannon and launch a slug of liquid beer right into the recipient's glass.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Before the electronics...

          "Make a beer cannon and launch a slug of liquid beer right into the recipient's glass."

          That could be doable. Hack one of those table tennis playing bots for the spotting capabilities and use a fast electrically operated valve to send a portion under pressure, not forgetting the nozzle needs to packed with fine hollow needles to optimise laminar flow like they do in modern dancing fountains. You might want to use a 2pt glass to catch the 1pt in so as to minimise waste by sloshing at the destination. Probably best to use a relatively flat beer too.

          Disclaimer: Range may be limited by low ceilings.

        2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Before the electronics...

          "Make a beer cannon and launch a slug of liquid beer right into the recipient's open mouth".

          Saves on washing up (the pint glasses at least)

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Before the electronics...

          launch a slug of liquid beer right into the recipient's glass.

          Spreadage dear boy, spreadage. What starts off as a 10cm blob of beer might well turn into a 2m blob of beer, thus wasting[1] most of it.

          Far better to freeze it first and have it fly through a very high power microwave beam just before it hits the glass.

          There may be one or two health and safety implications to high-power microwave beams in the office but the product engineers can sort that out. I'm an imagineer, I don't work with that sort of mundane trivia.

          Now, where do I collect my design award?

          [1] Of course, depending on the quality of the beer, this may be a Good Thing(TM).

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Before the electronics...

        I assume the original closed beer containers are 11 gallon barrels, (or even 22 gallon kilderkins) so transporting to the desk, while admirable, might be tricky.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Before the electronics...

      Suspended cradle? You mean like the trays/tables etc they've had on small boats for donkey's years?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Before the electronics...

        A bottle is not the original container, you heathan.

        Beer comes in unpressurized casks.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Before the electronics...

        > Suspended cradle? You mean like the trays/tables etc they've had on small boats for donkey's years?

        Exactly that. I'm not one to reinvent the wheel; I'm one to take a traditional bicycle to the pub.

        Actually, fuck this project: if Ref staff can't nip down the local boozer at lunchtime, they have no right to call themselves journalists. For shame.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Before the electronics...

      "I suggest that the cradle or platform be colour-coded or otherwise marked to ensure the empty glass that is sent to the bar returns (full) to the journo who sent it."

      RFID tags please! This is an IT site!

  1. lglethal Silver badge
    Pint

    Ideas

    Install some railway lines - it will make it nice and easier. You can put up fences along the lines, and then you dont need to worry about pedestrians/obstacles on the track. Loading and unloading might be a problem, but well we'll save that for another day/thought experiment.

    Alternatively, a Roomba with a tray on top would probably work pretty well and you can probably claim it as a cleaning expense. (And it can actually clean up any mess it makes after hours! Bonus!). Getting it to bring the beer directly to you might take some creative use of those electronic wall things they come with. But I'm sure you can manage it...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Ideas

      "Loading and unloading might be a problem, but well we'll save that for another day/thought experiment."

      Royal Mail trains already solved that issue.

  2. Raithmir

    Big Trak

    Sorry El Reg, but I already did this back in the 80's.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/Big_trak_white_background.jpg

    1. Not an Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big Trak

      To have drinks delivered properly with your BigTrak you also needed the trailer.

  3. Tim Wolfe-Barry
    Pint

    Ballistic Delivery

    Now if only your offices were open-plan to the bar, a modification of the well-known potato cannon would allow delivery of canned beverages (there are really some very good canned offerings nowadays...) direct to the desktop as demonstrated here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvqMWqxYuL8

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Ballistic Delivery

      This tends to be rather incompatible with the behaviour of the carbon dioxide content of nearly all beers, when subjected to severe agitation or similar abrupt changes in velocity.

      1. Tim Wolfe-Barry

        Re: Ballistic Delivery

        Makes it all the more amusing for those hacks still slaving to a deadline whilst their colleagues in the Social columns have their feet up...

    2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Re: Ballistic Delivery

      Late to the game: click here, follow the thread till topic changes. Then jump here for a few more (rerun from 2007, I think).

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Ballistic Delivery

      Ballistic delivery of real ale is possible, With practice the english pint can be swung underarm and thrown and caught up to around 20' away with 'acceptable' spilling after a few minutes practice. Alas after a couple of hours practice it starts to go wrong again and can require repairs to catching arm and oral interception is to be avoided at all times.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bucketotron

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jai2TSk795g + Bucket.

  5. Dippywood

    To avoid spillage, why not move the beer in some kind of sealed, pressurised container with a tap fitted?

    Perhaps one could give such a container a name: keg, perhaps?

    Oh...

  6. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Uhm?

    Vulture Central has moved to a shiny new shared collaboration space in central London, which, among other exciting advances, features a selection of beers to refresh thirsty hacks, weary from a day of making up new backronyms for TITSUP.

    Does the above not describe a Pub and do Pubs not come with bar staff?

  7. jasonwa2012

    Go big or go home is my suggestion.

    Get a Corny Keg and CO2 canister mounted onto a powered chassis. You could add a Raspberry Pi as a controller with a camera and then drive the whole unit round the office without leaving the desk. Corny keg will hold about 30 pints in total and you could also encourage the creative types to BYOB (Brew Your Own Beer). Serving is straight forward using a hand held dispenser.

    You could also dress it up a little, Johnny 5 pints?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      "a selection of beers"

      Corny keg will hold about 30 pints in total and you could also encourage the creative types to BYOB (Brew Your Own Beer).

      Well, yes, but the Corny Keg will only satisfy the demand for one particular beer at a time. So, there's a certain mismatch between the requirements and your proposed solution; a mismatch that is also present in some of the other proposals.

  8. SVV Silver badge

    Automated Beer Delivery Monorail

    The future was always going to be monorails.

    Monorails for moron ales!

  9. I Am Spartacus
    Pint

    Acronym needed

    All designers and PMs know that a project cannot get of the ground until it has a proper name. I propose:

    BARMAIDS

    Beer

    Assisted

    Register

    Mobile

    Automated

    Integrated

    Delivery

    System

    But I am sure other can do better

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Acronym needed

      BITTER

      Ballistic

      Imbibement

      Trajectory

      Towards

      El

      Reg

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Acronym needed

        BUTLER

        Beverage

        Utility

        Tasked with

        Liquering up

        El

        Registerians...

        1. Roger Varley

          Re: Acronym needed

          Surely, if we are resurrecting the SPB to design a beer transporter, it has to be called "LESTER"? I just can't work out the bacronym. I get as far as "Lager" and come over all depressed and give up.

          1. ArrZarr Silver badge

            Re: Acronym needed

            Surely you mean "barcronym"?

            Lager

            Energy

            Supplier

            To

            El

            Reg

          2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Acronym needed

            Lager has that effect. You need to start with a more inspiring initial.

            1. IceC0ld Bronze badge
              Pint

              Re: Acronym needed

              B eer

              R eplenishment

              E quipment

              A nd

              S ome

              T its

              S orry, got carried away

          3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Acronym needed

            OK. Challenge accepted! A barcronym for LESTER

            Life Enhancing Sustenance Transportation Embracing Robotics

          4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Acronym needed

            LESTER.

            Without a doubt.

            All hail the return of the SPB. It's been too long.

            // no fireworks icon?

  10. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    BigTrak

    I'm sure Bigtrak and his trusty trailer was doing this in the early eighties. You'd just need to adapt the trailer to carry more than one pint.

  11. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Boffin

    KISS

    Simple solutions are best when it comes to such important matters as beer.

    You just need a long hosepipe. Possibly also a funnel. Beer goes in one end and comes out the other.

    Is it Friday yet?

    1. Big_Boomer

      Re: KISS

      What you meant to say is beer goes in one end and comes out the other end as Bud Light. :D

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: KISS

        comes out the other end as Bud Light

        I thought Bud Light was what you got as the end result of drinking proper beer?

        (To my shame, I quite like Bud Light. It's the nearest I've ever come to drinking low alcohol beer..)

  12. Aaiieeee
    Thumb Up

    Ok so high level thinking is needed to start us off

    The bot is always ready and connected to a power source in an alcove using some type of contact that can be decoupled without intervention. The PFY picks up an RIFD token (or its in his shoe) and loudly pronounces "BEER OCLOCK" which is the voice activated notification for the bot to home in on the token. The bot then proceeds to the token whilst avoiding obsticals; it may help if the PFY starts the proceedure infront of the bot so it can find him, or else have the bot learn of obsticals on previous visits so it can navigate to the PFY when there isnt a clear line-of-site path to him.

    The bot should come equiped with a tray that is independatly stabalised and will account for acceleration and deceleration.

    A further feature is that after the PFY anounces "BEER OCLOCK" anyone who wants a drink must loudly procalim "MAKE MINE A x" and the bot will note the relative location and drink type and attemp to deliver each drink to its recipient after it has made it back to a known location, or at least past the door.

    It could potentially use all the millions of WIFI networks to help triangulate its position.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Ok so high level thinking is needed to start us off

      Will the beer transportation platform not also require armaments? In order to repel thirsty denizens of said shared space, employed by other companies?

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Ok so high level thinking is needed to start us off

      se all the millions of WIFI networks to help triangulate its position

      Until, for a giggle, someone moves all the access points and the beer goes down the back of the PC..

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the

    Peroni

    And

    Related

    Intoxicants

    Service

    Project.

    I must say that simply getting a keg and a glass is far reducing the efforts required than an automated delivery service.

    The challenge is keeping the snacks and pork scratching's crispy long enough for the keg to run out.

    The challenge for the really movement impaired Reg hack though is the automated toilet desk chair.

    I'm suddenly associated Reg staff as the people in the Wall-E movie ... Perhaps they need to get out more and do a camera review or see how far their wifi can be used from the door or other low strain IT japes...

  14. Michael Nidd

    Scope Specification

    >> A future version would operate more intelligently, and be capable of opening the door that divides reporting staff from the outside world.

    Achieving this without allowing the reporting staff to escape may also require modifications to the door.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Scope Specification

      Like this ? Spot can both guard the door and open it for legitimate access.

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2018/feb/21/human-robot-dog-boston-dynamics-door-opening-spotmini

  15. Chris Tierney

    Special Projects

    I'll build you this robot when you complete the LOHAN project I was following closely.

  16. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Invented 40 years ago

    Advert here.

    s/apple/can of beer/g

    Still available, apparently.

    They know what the trailer was really used for.

  17. hatti

    if($beer == 'all gone') {

    getTakeAway('kebab');

    } else if ($beer != 'all gone') {

    drink(8, 'pints');

    } else {

    getCoat();

    }

  18. wolfetone Silver badge

    "The initial brief would have the robot follow whichever member of staff has been nominated to collect the beer. Once loaded with beer, the robot would then autonomously follow the staff member back to the office, automatically dodging any obstacles along the way."

    So you want a remote controlled tray?

    That's hardly up there with LOHAN and PARIS is it?

  19. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    To save our very own PFY having to make multiple trips to and from the beer taps

    Fuck that, make them work.

  20. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Lost in translation

    > Vulture Central has moved to a shiny new shared collaboration space in central London, which, among other exciting advances, features a selection of beers to refresh thirsty hacks

    Is that just a fancy way of saying you've been evicted from your offices and are now holed up in the local pub?

  21. TRT Silver badge

    Presumably it isn't bottled or canned...

    That'll be the first time in history, then, that we hear uttered the phrase "Open the door! There's a draught coming in."

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019