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Service robots

Robotic Barista at Rozum Café

Rozum Café is a ready business concept. The most curious thing about this product is a robotic barista installed in the café workspace.

28. Juli 2020 - Robot looks like an arm, and this arm does all the same work a real barista would do. It grinds coffee, tamps it, makes espresso, and adds to it milk and syrups. The producers of Rozum Café created a compact 6 sq. m closed kiosk that does not depend on water supply and needs just a stable Wi-Fi connection and several power sockets.

Video shows customers how to get their coffee offered by the robot

Robot arm with 6 degrees of freedom

At Rozum Café, we use our own collaborative robot PULSE.  It is a robotic arm with 6 degrees of freedom (DOF). The robot can move along the x, y, and z-axis or turn along with them (pitch, yaw, and roll).

PULSE arm has five ‘’bones‘’ and four ‘’joints ‘’. In the robotic joints are hidden its muscles – servomotors, that control the whole movement of a robot. For compact collaborative robots like ours, it’s crucial to use brushless motors, as they decrease noise level, have a longer life cycle, and guarantee a greater level of precision and repeatability.

For example, the PULSE robot repeats all the movements with 0,1 mm. At the same time, the usage of smarter motors makes the robot very sensitive to dust, moisture, etc. It’s necessary to protect robots’ ’muscles’ and ’bones’ with a ’flesh’ that allows a robot to work in different environments.

The environment of a café, for example, is not that friendly as you could think. There is a constant high moisture level of heated water and milk, coffee particles in the air; the robot works with hot beverages, so it should be smart, precise, and protected at the same time. PULSE robot installed in the Café has protection level IP40 and a payload of 6 kg. The robot barista is compact, fast, and collaborative.

Collaborative robot PULSE

Collaborativeness is the main difference between service robots and industrial robots. For such robots, it is necessary to implement the ISO standards and principles of safety for all people who will interact with these robots. One such standard includes the restrictions on speed. The max. velocity of PULSE is 2 m/s, but robot barista works on 80% of its speed. First, 100% speed insults the collaboration standards. Secondly, the main waiting time doesn’t depend on the robot but the coffee equipment. If to speed up all the processes like grinding or foaming, it will negatively influence the drink quality.

Rozum Cafés’ ‘brain’ is located in several information processing centers. A central computer is responsible for perceiving the order from the tablet and choosing the right trajectory for the robot. A control box is a control center for a barista robot; it sends the signals to servomotors.

An industrial PLC controller is responsible for the coffee equipment and its synchronous work with the robot control script.