If I told you that Russian ‘bots were getting more sophisticated and spreading, your first reaction might be one of concern. But what if I told you that those Russian ‘bots served coffee? Well, then you might welcome them with open arms.
Moscow-based Foodtronics has created FIBBEE, a robot barista that serves up all manner of lattes and other coffee drinks. Like Briggo and Cafe X here in the U.S., FIBBEE is an automated kiosk that can be set up in high-traffic areas, and like those American counterparts, the number of FIBBEE locations is expanding.
Moscow is downright hot for robo-baristas right now, as FIBBEE joins another automated coffee service, MontyCafe.
In our quest to chronicle the rise of food robots all over the world, following is an email interview with Foodtronics’ CEO Alexandr Khvastunov about FIBBEE. NOTE: Answers in this post were slightly revised after publication as Foodtronics felt the translations weren’t entirely accurate.
SPOON: What is Fibbee?
Aleksandr Khvastunov: FIBBEE is a robot-barista. We believe that it has a female entity so FIBBEE is her given name. Her personality is bright, easy-going and positive.
Besides the fact that she’s an ideal barista who never fails, FIBBEE may give you emotional recharge. She serves coffee to customer in one of the five colorful cups which are supposed to provoke different moods: boost, energy, balance, insight and fun.
How is Fibbee different from Cafe X, Briggo or even MontyCafe?
We’ve been professionally engaged in coffee for the past 8 years. We’ve opened traditional coffee houses (so-called third wave coffee houses), were engaged in the coffee wholesale and other projects.
At some point we understood that robotic retail may give us an opportunity to grow and scale well our love of coffee as of the lack of human factor – FIBBEE is fast, she’s always in a good mood and ready to meet your needs.
We have developed almost all technical components for FIBBEE, from chips and control systems to our own manipulators (specific system of moving objects).
We also have two coffee machine modules and we can brew two drinks at the same time. One manipulator inserts glasses into the coffee machine and when the drink is ready rearranges it into the waiting buffer. Another manipulator swaps coffee from the buffer to one of the 3 areas of issue.
How many different types of drinks can Fibbee make? Can it do hot and cold drinks?
Current menu includes espresso, americano, lungo, cortado, latte, cappuccino, cappuccino light, and coffee with syrups.
Still our customers can customize any drink. For example, they can add milk to black coffee in the required quantity, adjust the amount of foam and milk in cappuccino and latte, or select milk temperature (cold or hot).
In the nearest future we plan to introduce additional types of milk (soybean, oatmeal), various types of coffee beans and drinks with ice and nitro coffee which are being tested right now.
How many Fibbee’s are there and where are they located? How many more do you plan to roll out?
We have 2 robotic coffee bars now, and in July we’re opening the third. By the end of 2019, we plan to open more than 12 in Moscow. We’re creating our own chain and currently do not sell franchises.
Our ambition is to become the largest robotic chain of coffee houses in Russia and Europe. Because we love coffee and know how to make it delicious.