Coffee Shop Innovation Expo logo

15 & 16 JUNE 2021


A Robot Barista Has Been Hired in Tokyo!

The Henna Cafe in Tokyo has got itself a new employee! A robot named Sawyer has been brought into the cafe in order to increase efficiency and entertain customers… and apparently, Sawyer makes a cracking cup of coffee too!

Sawyer can make coffee from scratch; it can grind the beans, fill a filter and and pour hot water over a paper cup to serve coffee in just a few minutes for as many as five people at one time! Sawyer can also make six other hot beverages, including hot chocolates, green tea lattes and cappuccinos.

Each cup costs 320 yen ($3), and Sawyer processes payments by scanning the ticket customers’ have to purchase from a vending machine prior to ordering.

Masataka Tamaki, a representative for the company that operates the café, commented on Henna Cafe’s new addition, he said “Sawyer will help us increase productivity, Normally a coffee shop requires many staff members to function, however, Sawyer can perform many functions on its own, all you need is one person to supervise.

“With fewer members of staff, we can serve higher quality coffee at a reasonable price. Plus people will enjoy being served by an actual robot! Sawyer will be able to entertain our customers, so it’s not like you’re just buying coffee from a vending machine.”

Coffee-making robots are popping up across the globe! A new coffee shop in San Francisco, Cafe X, has also invested in a new robot barista. Customers can place their order through their smartphones or an iPad kiosk, this order is then sent to the robot.

In just one minute, the robot - which uses a Mitsubishi six-axis arm - can grab a coffee cup, add some syrup and place it in front of a coffee-brewing station. Then the robot will place the beverage into one of the eight warming stations, and this will keep a customer’s drink warm for as long as eight minutes!