Order your morning latte macchiato conveniently via app from the bus, quickly scan the QR code and let the robot barista serve it fresh – MyAppCafé makes it possible. The 160 variants of coffee specialties – including espresso doppio, cappuccino, chocciato or latte - can of course also be ordered directly on the touchscreen.
The idea came to Karlsruhe-based MyAppCafé founder Michael Stille during a “Tatort” episode in which a catering robot played a central role. First conversations quickly began. A similar solution was already on the market in the USA – but without interest for the European market. Together with two other Karlsruhe companies, IBS and Rothweiler Feinwerkmechanik, Stille developed its own solution.
The decisive goal during development was cost-effectiveness: each franchisee only needs to spend a maximum of one hour a day refilling and waiting, the rest is fully automated. MyAppCafé only needs to be refilled after around 650 issues.
“Almost no personnel is required, a maximum of one hour of working time for refilling and cleaning must be scheduled after 650 issues,” says Stille. “By comparison, four employees would be needed to provide the same service. With our robot Barista, you are in the profit zone much faster.”
The integrated fully automatic cleaning systems combine the highest hygiene standards with minimum effort. A robot is the heart of the cell: the prototype as well as all further cells were built based on the Kawasaki Robotics RS005L.
With a maximum payload of 5 kg and a maximum reach of 903 mm, the RS005L is part of the universal R series for small to medium payloads, suitable for assembly, material handling, machine tending and many other applications. Its special design enables the high-speed robot to have a longer reach and an extended working range.
In addition to the technical aspects, the RS005L convinced Stille with its appearance, which fitted well into the design of the cell: “We wanted to have a real industrial robot inside, not a ‘toy’. And Kawasaki was very accommodating to us as a partner and through the quality of the robots.”
For the first MyAppCafé cell, the Postgalerie shopping centre in Karlsruhe was quickly found as an optimal location, quickly followed by other locations and with more to follow.
In operation, after receiving an order for the desired coffee specialty via app or touch screen, the Kawasaki robot takes a cup and transports it to one of the two high-end coffee machines as well as to two syrup stations and a specially developed milk system, as required. It then moves the finished coffee to one of the dispensing stations where it can be removed for immediate enjoyment.
The robot can prepare and serve up to 120 coffees per hour. And the hot drinks can be decorated with an individual text message or picture on the milk foam using a food printer, at no extra cost. Customers can even upload their own photos via app and have them displayed on a fresh cappuccino.
“Our customers can be as creative as they like,” says Stille. “They can upload a vacation selfie directly from Milan and order the printed coffee in Karlsruhe for their return.”
The robot barista never gets tired: MyAppCafé is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week – without waiting or queuing.