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Hi Rob, a gin and tonic for me! Hang on Rob’s a robot!

February 17, 2021 Cruise News, Headline News No Comments

I don’t know how you feel about being served your next G+T on a ship by a robot, but I kind of like to have a chat with the bartender, catching up on what’s hot and new and maybe even some gossip!

The most dangerous thing here is my assuming that Robert might not only be able to serve me a G+Tbut also he might be able to chat with me – we shall have to wait and see, because MSC Cruises has revealed details about its futuristic MSC Starship Club featuring Rob, the first-ever humanoid, robotic bartender at sea!

MSC says that the MSC Starship Club will be exclusively available onboard the line’s newest flagship MSC Virtuosa, which will be in service from April 16, 2021, saying, “This integrated bar and entertainment experience includes 3D holograms, an immersive digital art wall and a 12-seater infinity digital interactive table, giving guests the possibility to explore space with their own personalized galactic tour” adding that Rob will mix and serve his signature cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic and various personalized drinks, while engaging the guests with his human-like expressions for a “fully immersive bar experience.”

So there you go, I was wrong, Rob can not only serve my G+T, but he can chat with me!

Amazing, with MSC saying, “Rob’s skills and emotional responsiveness combined with bartenders dressed as if they had just stepped out of a sci-fi movie supported by the immersive surroundings and technology will ensure that the MSC Starship Club is a must-visit attraction for all ages”

To order drinks, guests will have to use what MSC describe as “specifically designed vertical digital cockpits”, adding “Rob will then get to work and use all of his customized robotic skills to prepare the cocktails, pouring spirits, juices and syrup and shaking, building or stirring the concoctions and garnishing.”

Further allaying my fears, MSC says that preparing drinks is not Rob’s only talent, as he can speak an impressive eight languages – English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese – according to the language chosen when the guest makes the order, but sadly not Australian or Kiwi and I hope that Rob’s version of English is proper English not American English!

MSC said “He also has a clear personality that evolves with the surrounding settings and atmospheres and he uses his LED face to convey emotion so that guests can enjoy his performance whilst they sip on their cocktail”, adding that the status of the cocktail preparation will be displayed through digital monitors within the area and a ticker-tape-style LED strip above the robotic island, the cruise line wrote.

MSC also explained, “The cosmic cocktails are served in custom-designed futuristic glasses that can be collected as a lasting souvenir of the MSC Starship Club experience and guests will be able to return to the club multiple times over the course of their cruise, experiencing a new interaction with Rob each time”, but I wonder will Rob remember previous interactions with guests, like any good barman would?

According to MSC, the Starship Club took six years to make, with MSC saying, “The Company has really pushed the boundaries with the engineering that has gone into making this a reality,” adding, “During this time, MSC Cruises has worked with leading experts from companies specializing in robotics and automation, interior design as well as entertainment and digital experience solutions to create a custom designed entertainment venue with a humanoid robot as the star.”

While Australians cannot travel overseas yet, after completing a few three-, four and five night cruises in the Mediterranean from April 2021 onwards, the MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to Northern Europe in summer 2021 with a range of itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities, so hang on in there Rob, Aussies and Kiwis will be there soon!

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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