Robot bartenders have been around for a while, on cruise ships and on land, but MSC Cruises has what it says is the first-ever humanoid, robotic bartender at sea, who will go by the name of Rob and will be serving cocktails at the MSC Starship Club on board the line’s newest flagship MSC Virtuosa when she comes into service later this year.
Rob can speak 8 languages – English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese – and converses according to the language chosen when the guest makes their order.
A humanoid robot bartender with a personality
According to a press release, “This humanoid robotic bartender moves his arms, body and head in a highly natural way, all collaborating to give the impression that a real bartender is preparing the cocktail – a very unique engineering feature. Different facial expressions and a voice have been designed to give Rob a human-like personality.”
Rob apparently has “a clear personality that evolves with the surrounding settings and atmospheres, and uses his LED face to convey emotion so that guests can enjoy his performance whilst they sip on their cocktail.”
MSC states that “Rob comes from a remote planet at the edge of the universe and has learned mixology in the best intergalactic bars.”
The question is, can Rob do the hippy-hippy shake.
MSC Virtuosa, the newest ship in the MSC fleet
MSC Virtuosa is the line’s newest flagship and will come into service in April this year.
After completing a few three, four and five-night cruises in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to Northern Europe in summer 2021 with a range of itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.
Rob will be serving drinks at the Virtuosa’s futuristic bar, the MSC Starship Club, which the Italian company says is inspired by its vision of the spaceship of the future – the MSC Starliner One.
The Starship Club is described by MSC as “a futuristic, immersive entertainment lounge, completely re-imagining the traditional bar experience to literally transport guests to another world.”
On the way to zero-impact cruise operation
The MSC Virtuosa is the second Meraviglia-Plus class ship in the MSC fleet after its sister ship, the MSC Grandiosa. At 1,087 feet long, the 19-deck, 181,000 ton Virtuosa has a maximum capacity of 6,334 passengers and 1,704 crew.
The ship features a hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system that reduces sulphur oxide emissions by up to 98 per cent, and can connect to local power grids while at ports thanks to its shore-to-ship power connectivity.
Upon taking delivery of the ship in early February, MSC Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “Our long-term goal is to achieve a zero-impact cruise operation and this is the journey we are on today. MSC Virtuosa represents another important step in this direction together with our other investments in the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technology. It also confirms our long-term firm commitment to achieving this ambitious goal.”
The MSC Virtuosa is scheduled to come into service for the summer season from April 16, with four cruises in the Mediterranean of 3-,-4- and 10-nights before the ship moves to her new homeport of Kiel, where she will commence her Northern Europe itineraries from May 8.