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Vegas welcomes bar staffed by robots

Commentary: The Tipsy Robot bar sounds like an awful lot of fun. It has robot bartenders, but you're still supposed to tip them.

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Yes, but will it advise you on whether to leave your lover?

Las Vegas Sun/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNEt

What happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas, in a memory chip embedded in a robot bartender's head.

That is my prognostication for the future of iniquity's greatest playground, after I learned about the Tipsy Robot Bar, which is due to open on Friday.

Sadly, this isn't a bar where slightly sozzled robots wander around and tell you bad jokes. Instead, it's a bar where the bartenders are robots.

The robot bartenders have all the personality of a piece of mackerel you left in the fridge a month ago. But gosh, are their pours precise. 

Naturally, the people behind it believe this is a marvelous idea. They've placed it in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

The Tipsy Robot Bar's owner Rino Armeni told the Las Vegas Sun: "My partners and I decided to do something to create a new trend so we can be ahead of time. So, this is a gift from us to the city of Las Vegas." 

And what a gift, you might snort. A reminder that all humans are expendable and too many technological roads lead to a numbing hell. 

The robots, you see, don't talk. Instead, you have to enter your order on a tablet or through the Tipsy Robot app that you've gleefully downloaded onto your phone. Once you've ordered, you get an alert telling you that your drink is ready.

Armeni told the Las Vegas Sun that there is still "a human bar on the side." Yes, that's where all humans will end up -- sidelined. 

I fear you might be worried that these metallic monsters will reduce the, well, sexiness quotient of the bar. Fear not. There will also be some so-called Galactica Ambassadors. These are, to quote the Las Vegas Sun: "Women dressed in space-themed metallic silver dresses."

Perhaps you'll be uplifted by this whole concept. You'll already be booking your weekend trip, just to experience this tipsy technological future. You'll even be delighted that the robots apparently clean themselves before making the next drink. 

I, however, worry. The drinks are $14. That includes tax and gratuity. Why, pray, should I tip a machine that made my drink? 

I tip human bartenders because they offer expertise, imagination, gossip and, on occasion, succor. A machine offers not even a hullo. 

Armeni didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

One can certainly appreciate the novelty and entertainment value of these machines. As Armeni himself admitted to the Las Vegas Sun: "It's no different from the fountains at Bellagio and the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign."

Except that it is different. A great bartender gives you something more than just a drink. 

Then again, perhaps the next incarnation of these robot bartenders will be able to recommend a fine sauvignon blanc, as well as offer an opinion on the parlous state of the San Francisco Giants and the true workings of Brad Pitt's mind. Then, I'll tip them.

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

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