Meet the robotic bartender that just raised $1 million

Published on February 1, 2019

People could find more reasons to order round after round as “robot bartender” Yanu looks to change the drinks game one cocktail at a time. The company just raised $1 million in a seed round to get robots one step closer to assisting bartenders with serving all of those customers.

Estonia-based Robolab built a prototype of Yanu, a bartending unit that makes use of A.I. technology. It is capable of serving drinks and handling payments. It can also identify clients and communicate with them efficiently.

The company, led by CEO and founder Alan Adojaan says that “running a bar is actually a constant problem solving on the go. That’s why I developed an idea of creating an automated, trustworthy solution to help us out.”

With a fully autonomous artificial intelligence, Yanu is closer to real life as it gets. It has a personality, a soul, and some sense of humor as well. It is conversational enough to recognize your order according to your precise liking.

It uses chatbot technology to communicate and facilitate credit card and mobile payments using an app. Yanu is maintainable and relocatable which complements its stunning design.

Adojaan’s company, Robolab, partnered up with Estonia’s University of Tartu to build this robot.

The company claims it spent almost a year in research before starting production in early 2017. The team has produced a functioning MVP since then. Robolab now looks to place its first robot bartender in 2019.

Would consumers want it?

Yanu could offers a lot of convenience for avid bar goers who have to wait for more than a few minutes for a drink. But without data on a clear deployment, we don’t yet know how consumers — and bartenders — will react to this “sous chef” of sorts. That said, with the decent amount of funding that Yanu has received, this A.I. bar can whip up cocktails and cash out customers in a matter of seconds.

“The robot communicates with you, it takes the orders, sometimes cracks a joke, gives you suggestions, just like an old school gentleman behind the bar.”

-Alan Adojaan

This state-of-the-art bartending unit can hold 50 bottles in one take. It has an arm that serves drinks and also docks to serve it on. It also has a screen that displays orders and registers client information.

Yanu is the smallest full-size bar in existence. “The machine requires less maintenance and is easy to relocate,” the company claims.

Artificial Intelligence is evolving as time goes by. Yanu innovates with a seemingly simple machine that can take orders, serve drinks, and transact with customers. It is exclusively built for bartending but it opens up a few ideas for the future of the hospitality industry.


Jaime Aldecoa is a staff writer at Grit Daily. He is an avid traveler, YouTube vlogger, and podcast host. He holds a degree in Mass Communication.

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