The first version of Briggo went online in November 2011 and it appears to be a hit with students and professors alike. Customers can order drinks off the web, a smart phone app, or at the kiosk itself. Even before ordering, the status of the queue and estimated time for each drink is clearly listed. This gives the customer some flexibility to choose a quick coffee drink over their favorite americano if the queue is backed up. Payment is handled at the time the order is placed so all that’s left to do is pick up the coffee on the way to class. The robot can even send a text when the drink is done.
The current menu offers a wide variety of drinks, including most espresso drinks, chai, milk steamers, and hot chocolate. Customers can pick a few different options like sweeteners, milk, and non-dairy creamer. Favorite drinks can be saved and re-ordered with a single click. The only thing missing was the ability to add extra shots to a drink, something that I was assured would be addressed in a future version.
The Briggo creates each drink with a robotic precision that ensures a consistent product every time. The robot mimics world class baristas in how the coffee is ground, tamped and ultimately how the shots are pulled. After tasting the drinks I can verify that they have the precision down well.
Version two is in the works and is being developed for hospitals, airports and shopping malls. Expect to see the first one pop up at the Austin airport sometime in the future. I, for one, welcome our new coffee robot overlords.