BarBots Abound on the Internet!

Radioactive dust has settled.

Inspirations for future cocktails and the bots that serve them have begun to percolate.

Protests, biological and societal, have come and gone.

Drink Making Unit 2.1 by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

The memories remain:

Popular Science and Gizmodo photodocumented the glory of our robot bartenders for current and future generations.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and Party Robotics endured the swirling infinite of booze from within, and survived to tell their tales [excitement helmets work small wonders!].

Observers near, far, and further bore witness to our labours.

Schrödinger’s Martini by Jonathan Foote and Josh Myer
The aforementioned would not have been possible without the inimitable influence of St George Spirits [and their outstanding B&E bourbon, which fueled the perfect Manhattans of Inertia Labs’ Manhattan Project].

Manhattan Project by Inertia Labs

We continue to be grateful to all who shared the BarBot Bunker with us, particularly our comrades at the Museum of Robots, excellent human and artist Josh Ellingson, the 19 fabulous robots that poured upward of 1500 cocktails each night, and the well-lubricated humans that gave them purpose!

We hope to do it all again soon! To ensure an uninterrupted stream of information regarding future schemes and events, please subscribe over at

TONIGHT: Nerd Nite At Sea II

The hits just keep on coming, campers!

As part of the weeklong Bay Area Science Fest (proud supporter of BarBot) our Science Carnie cohort I will be headed over to the USS Hornet, proud WWII aricraft carrier, for Nerd Night At Sea II

NEEEERRRDDDSSThere nerds and nerd lovers of all stripes will convene to learn stuff, drink things, and engage in intellectual hijinks fit for the curiosity-driven crowds of the SF Bay Area.

We will be the ones building scribble bots. Come on down and see us, won’t you?


This is it, kids, we’ve made The Big Show.

BarBot 2013.75 is just a *little* too excited to be a part of The Bay Area Science Fest this year, as a signature event!

Courtesy XKCD of course

Bay Area Science Fest will be showing off their SCIENCE BEER (a very nice Belgian Golden Strong – brewed with some pear extract, according to Them What Know. 8% abv, hold on to your socks).

We are strapping on our Excitement Helmets for realsies now, because not ONLY do we have SCIENCE BEER, we *also* have the inestimable, superlative, HELLA SCIENTIFIC and deeply respected St. George Spirits supplying Selected and Super Cool Robots with Deliciously and Scientifically Produced tipples to tantalize your thought processes and make everything exactly 72 degrees in your brain.

So! Take the kids to Discovery Days! Make sure to visit us at Nerd Nite at Sea II! See all the sites and learn all the things and definitely visit our buds over at the St. George Tasting Room.

Save some of your liver for this Friday and Saturday, though, because my friends, this will be large.


The Stuff We Do When We’re Not Slinging Cocktails

[TL;DR: Your booze bucks are going to a good cause. Drink more, create the next generation of scientists and engineers. Whee!]

So it may surprise our five or six readers out there that beneath the reprobate, ne’er-do-well, drunken exterior of the BarBot website lies the tender, beating heart of a federally registered, 501c3 educational non profit.

I know, it shocks us sometimes too.

BarBot falls under the aegis of The Robotics Society of America, a non profit that has been churning along since 1977 (the year Star Wars came out, natch). The Robotics Society has gone through many permutations and leadership throughout the years, until it landed in the capable hands of David Calkins, El Commandante and Presidente Por La Vida (mostly because we can’t find anyone else who wants to do it).

The reason we do BarBot and all our other ridiculous public events is not just to teach drunk folks that robots are cool (though they totally are and we totally do), but to enable us to do real, live educational outreach whenever we can.

So we just want to give a shoutout for The Expanding Your Horizons Conference, a one-day event held by Lawrence Livermore Labs to introduce young women in grades 6-12 to a vast array of career options available to them, and to encourage interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields.

You can even Like Them On Facebook.

The Robotics Society, in for the form of Simone Davalos, is going out to Stockton at horrible-o’clock tomorrow morning to teach shiny eager minds how solar cars work, and also that robotics is just the bee’s knees.

Grades 6-12 are really key times in a young girl’s life when it comes to the sciences. Interest in “hard” subjects drops off sharply for girls right here, and it’s super important to show them there are women in fields they might think of as traditionally male.

We at the Robotics Society really love encouraging young women to go for careers in science and tech, and we love being women doing science and engineering at events like this. These events historically have tiny, tiny, tiny budgets, so we help out where we can.

So keep buying your Barbot tickets! You can feel good that there’s a reason to go other than the imminent destruction of you liver.

So you say you have a natural disaster. . . .

Since we here at BarBot are running around like a decapitated AT-AT at the moment, we’re going to cheat like a mofo and post something from our very good friend and A#1 robot support, Lem Fugitt of the superlative Robots-Dreams blog.

So say you are caught in a teensy Ice Age or an asteroid hits earth or (DEAR GOD NO) you run out of bourbon. You’re going to need an emergency way to communicate your very great distress. That’s where this little baby come in:

A fusion of robotics, amateur radio, and emergency service the Emergency Antenna Platform System (E-APS) is a tool for amateur radio operators (ARES, RACES) as well as First Responder organizations to turn any parking lot lamp post into and instant antenna tower.

Trumpet your coordinates for bourbon airdrop! Tell the chopper where to land the beer! Oh yeah and also let them know about Bob and his mangled leg or whatever.


TONIGHT: BarBots Get Real with Chuck Palahniuk

And let’s hope we’re don’t get in *too* much trouble. Or, that we’re really good at apologizing. Something.

Tonight, the Commonwealth Club’s side project, Inforum (think of it as the CW’s youth group –  they do the fun, funky stuff) is presenting a conversation between Chuck “Fight Club” Palahniuk and John “Cacophony” Law.

Some regular BarBot denizens will be there, pouring in the VIP lounge.

You don;t want to stand there. Really.

Photo courtesy MakerFaire NYC and Santigo Feilipe

The presentation will be ridiculous, the surrounding events even more ridiculouser, and you should all come.   There are apparently about 40 tickets left, so, fair warning.

If you do come, tweet @roboticcocktail and a genuine denizen of the BarBot bunker will give you a Genuine BarBot Hug*

So come on down! Hugs are fab, robotics is fab, and all the other stuff will be fab oh god we’re all going to get arrested if we do this right.  WHEE!

*Genuine BarBot Hugs include but may or may not be limited to: giggling, weird smells, shiny baubles and trinkets, alcohol, alcoholic sweat, groping (but only if you ask nicely) and may or may not include an actual hug. It’s Project Mayhem here, folks, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

For your Fall Enjoyment, the Pumpkin Pie Cocktail

OK, maybe it’s not quite pumpkin season yet, but it’s getting close to October, and that’s good enough for me. This cocktail is a dessert in a glass without being too cloying.  Jon Gilbert and I came up with this one night in a boozy attempt to use up leftover canned pumpkin. Betraying my extreme enthusiasm for bitters, there are two kinds here – the Tiki bitters add an essential spiciness, and the orange bitters contribute a nice roundness. Experiment as you like.

1 oz pumpkin puree
1 1/2 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum (or substitute regular dark rum and double the molasses)
1/2 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy (another brandy might be nice? Try it.)
1 tsp molasses
1-2 dashes of Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
Squirt of Tiki Bitters

Shake well with ice, strain into martini glass. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

Photo courtesy of Jon Gilbert

Photo courtesy of Jon Gilbert

PS: Any kind of pumpkin will do, but don’t use canned pumpkin pie filling, which already has sweetener and spices. It is the sort of cocktail that goes down rather easy, and an evening can slip away in a haze of spicy rummy goodness without you realizing it. Not that I have any experience in that.

World’s Largest Four Legged Robot Rocks Our (Singed) Socks

Zollner, a company in Germany, made this beauty for a yearly folk festival in Furth Im Wald


Note the three(!) operators it takes to get “Tradinno” going smoothly. It’s like freakin’ ballet, people.

The Zollner site also has a nice video on how the dragon was built and what the innards look like.

Bitters, or How to Make Your Cocktail Extra Good

Bitters are alcohol infused with various botanicals to produce a strong, well, bitter flavor. The concoctions began as patent medicine, purported to cure a wide variety of ills and complaints, but live on as cocktail flavoring.

peychauds bitters

CC Image courtesy of _gee_ on Flickr

While a few years ago, it was difficult to find any sort of cocktail bitters aside from a dusty bottle of Angostura,  nowadays companies are producing bitters in countless varieties, from orange and grapefruit to habanero, lavender, chocolate – pretty much anything you can think of that might be delicious. Some of  the brands I like are the German The Bitter Truth, who makes a fantastically astringent grapefruit one, and Bittermens, based in New Orleans,  who do a wide range of inventive bitters, including my favorite, ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters.

There are also diehard bitters enthusiasts who’ve worked hard on recreating some once-beloved, now-extinct brands like Abbott’s and Boker’s. I can completely get behind that kind of obsessiveness.

Not generally meant to be drunk on their own, a couple of dashes of cocktail bitters often add a depth and complexity to a cocktail that pushes it from “OK” to  “Heck YEAH”. If you’re messing around with drink recipes and make a drink that needs something, that ‘something’ is likely to be bitters. Start with the classic Angostura, and as you explore give some of the more exotic flavors a try.

Do you have a BarBot that uses bitters in any of its drinks? I’d love to hear about it.

If you’re interested in the history of bitters and want to find out more really cool things to do with them, even things that don’t involve cocktails (gasp), I highly recommend reading Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons.

Let’s Give A Big BarBot Welcome To Our Far-Flung Correspondents!

We would like to take this opportunity to raise lab glass to our knowledgeable yet
enigmatic newly-acquired correspondents, Dr. Angostura Peychaud and Dr. Lazz0r, Drink Fixer.


Dr. Peychaud will be writing on the finer arts of Cocktail Craft, for the newly drunken to the experienced lushes.

Dr. Lazz0r will write about SCIENCE and other topics relevant to our pages.

Please greet them warmly and buy the next round.