Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas.

As far as dreaming up new experiences and entertainment for cruise passengers goes, we’re sure somebody, at some point, sat bolt upright in the middle of the night with the idea which went on to become Royal Caribbean’s Bionic Bartenders.

A concept which debuted on the 2014 launch of Quantum of the Seas adds a twist of entertainment to the otherwise fairly mundane task of ordering a drink. The Bionic Bartender setup consists of two robotic arms which have three essential movements enabling them to move in any direction. These include a wheel at the base for complete 360° movement, a middle joint which allows the arm to stretch or contract to reach whatever is required, and the hand joint which turns the cup up and down to pour the contents of each drink.

There are more than 30 different spirits suspended from the roof which the arms can reach, although these are duplicated so that neither has to wait for access to a particular spirit in order to make a drink. In addition, there are eight sodas available for the arms to use as a mixer, along with six juices, three syrups and sugar, mint, lime and lemon as garnishes. Guests can order from an extensive list of drinks or design their own entirely.

The Bionic Bartenders at work on Ovation of the Seas, coming to Australia waters.
The Bionic Bartenders at work on Ovation of the Seas, coming to Australia waters.

Each bionic bartender works independently of the other but at certain times take the entertainment to a new level by joining together in a coordinated dance routine set to music. In total, the two robotic arms can make up to 1,000 drinks per day or one each per minute.

In the mixing process, each arm has four abilities – it can muddle, stir, shake and strain your drinks based on whichever components and processes required to make each order. If you’re watching your concoction come to life, once your robot bartender pours your drink into a cup, it will move slowly along a track where you can retrieve it. Human waiters are also on hand to deliver your drink to you if required. Check out a video of the arms in action.

Bionic Bartenders regularly attract crowds stopping by both to order a drink or just to watch as others enjoy the show. Overseas, the concept has since been expanded to Anthem of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and will be available for Australian audiences upon the arrival later this year of Ovation of the Seas.