MSC Cruises unveils Rob the robot bartender

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Rob the robot will tend bar at the MSC Starship Club onboard MSC's newest ship, the MSC Virtuosa, which is entering service April 16.
Rob the robot will tend bar at the MSC Starship Club onboard MSC's newest ship, the MSC Virtuosa, which is entering service April 16.

MSC Cruises will have a humanoid, robotic bartender at the MSC Starship Club onboard its newest ship, the MSC Virtuosa, which is entering service April 16.

Called Rob, the robot will mix and serve both alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails while engaging with and speaking to guests and using human-like expressions, MSC said. Rob will be able to speak eight languages, to be chosen by the guest placing the order, and will convey "emotion" so guests can enjoy his performance along with their cocktails.

Guests will order from specifically designed digital cockpits. Rob will then pour, shake, stir and garnish accordingly. Cocktail preparation status will be displayed on digital monitors and a tickertapestyle LED strip above the robotic island. The cocktails will be served in futuristic glasses that guests can collect.

MSC said the Starship Club will have 3D holograms, an immersive digital art wall and a 12seat infinity digital interactive table, giving guests the opportunity to explore space on a "personalized galactic tour." The space is nearly six years in the making, MSC said, as the line worked with companies specializing in robotics and automation and digital experience solutions. 

MSC said Rob is the first humanoid robotic bartender at sea. Royal Caribbean International's Bionic Bars, first introduced on the Quantum of the Seas in 2014, are manned by two robotic arm bartenders.

MSC took delivery of the Virtuosa earlier this month. The ship is scheduled to spend summer 2021 in Northern Europe. 

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