SOBEaR – a Responsible Robot

Independent developer Joe Saavedra recently announced the completion of SOBEaR, a “responsible robot bartender.” The new gadget can hold one’s cup of liquor as well as help people learn how to hold their liquor by offering a breath sensor that analyzes users’ alcohol levels.

In his blog, Saavedra reports the completion of SOBEaR‘s first prototype. The final touch included the addition of a glass coaster with glowing status light. When users press the “breathe + pour” button on the robot’s right foot, the status light goes solid – indicating the breath sensor is ready. After the user breathes into SOBEaR’s face, the robot analyzes the alcohol level and displays it on its chest. The analysis is based on the data received via the alcohol sensor, which is placed above the robot’s bowtie.

The alcohol scale ranges from 1 to 6 and the different levels are colored red, yellow, and green (the similarity to traffic lights isn’t coincidental). According to the breather’s state the robot knows whether to pour another drink or not. Besides being a funny addition to any party, this robot can actually help reduce the number of DUI incidents.

Saavedra used MapDuino, an ATmega168 chip soldered into a custom PCB circuit, for the “brains” of this robot. Combined with an adorable plush teddy bear, the result is a trustworthy robot that could be a huge success at parties (in this video, for instance, the SOBEaR pours cranberry vodkas). However, Saavedra’s blog doesn’t mention any plans of moving into mass production stage.

TFOT has previously covered the violin-playing robot, developed by Toyota, the kitchen-cleaning robot, capable of picking up various objects, dumping food leftovers in the trash can and loading the dishwasher, and the Flying Dragonfly robot, a miniature flying robot with an onboard camera. Another related TFOT story covers the bat-inspired spy plane, a six-inch robotic spy plane capable of gathering data such as sights, sounds, and smells in urban combat zones.

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For more information about the SOBEaR, please visit Saavedra’s website.