Meet the shot-slamming robot that keeps you from drinking alone

A Korean inventor says he built the Drinky Robot to help him unlock "the secret taste of alcohol."

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

There's an inherent contradiction in drinking. Do it with a group of friends and it's called partying. Do it by yourself and, well, there are a lot of names for that.

Because South Korean inventor Eunchan Park couldn't bear to drink alone, he came up with a novel solution. He built a robot that can hoist a shot glass to its plastic mouth along with Park, so man and machine can share tipple after tipple.

"On Christmas in 2012, I drank Soju (Korean alcohol) alone because I had no girlfriend at that time," Park says beneath a video posted Sunday showing his invention. "Drinking alone was definitely terrible! So I couldn't drink anymore." He put out an extra glass out and poured Soju into it and then made a toast as if the glass belonged to someone. "Surprisingly, after that, the taste became totally to be changed! WOW!!! So, I could finally find the secret of taste of alcohol totally depends on existence of [a] partner," Park said. "This is why I made this robot."

The black and white automaton is called Robot Drinky, and, in addition to just being able to slam back shots, it can give a sort of robot thumbs-up. Its cheeks also glow red after it tosses back a drink.

Luckily for Drinky, its booze simply flows down a tube into a mason jar so it doesn't get too tipsy. Unluckily for anyone going, um, toe-to-toe with Drinky, that pretty much means it can drink any human under the table. At least you don't have to worry about Drinky gobbling up all your alcohol. A funnel and the original bottle is all you need to remedy that.

Park got support in his fun drinking-buddy project by Art Center Nabi, an art museum in Seoul. The robot certainly seems to fit with the museum's ethos. "Our goal is formed around the idea of humanizing technology and that technology is fully integrated with human's cultural life to open a new space for creative practices."

There's no word on whether Park will be making Drinky available for sale, but it would no doubt be a big hit. With Drinky on your table, you might be sharing a drink called loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone, eh?

(Via Motherboard)