MSC Cruises introduces robotic bartender

"Rob" is the centrepiece of MSC Virtuosa's Starship Club

Rob the Bartender | credit: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises has unveiled the first-ever humanoid, robotic bartender at sea aboard its newly launched ship, MSC Virtuosa.

Dubbed “Rob” (from Robotic), the robot is the centrepiece of the MSC Starship Club aboard the ship, which will enter service on 16 April 2021.

Nearly six years in the making, the MSC Starship Club is an integrated bar and entertainment experience, inspired by MSC Cruises’ vision of the spaceship of the future – MSC Starliner One is enabled by state-of-the-art technologies designed to create a futuristic atmosphere. Think 3D holograms, an immersive digital art wall and a 12-seater infinity digital interactive table, giving guests the possibility to explore space with their own personalised galactic tour.

MSC Starship Club aboard MSC Cruises' new flagship, MSC Virtuosa

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Rob will mix and serve his signature cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and personalised drinks whilst engaging the guests with his voice and human-like expressions for a fully immersive bar experience.

Rob’s skills and emotional responsiveness, bartenders dressed out of a sci-fi movie and the immersive surroundings and technology will ensure that the MSC Starship Club is a must-visit attraction for all ages.

Guests will use specifically designed vertical and digital cockpits within the area to place their order. Rob will then get to work, using all of his customised robotic skills to prepare the cocktails. From pouring spirits, juices and syrups; shaking, building or stirring the concoctions; to garnishing.

MSC Starline One wall art

Not only does Rob prepare an impressive range of cocktails, but he can speak eight languages (English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese), according to the language chosen when the guest makes the order. He also has a clear personality that evolves with the surrounding settings and atmospheres. He uses his LED face to convey emotion so that guests can enjoy his performance whilst they sip on their cocktail.

Cocktails are served in custom-designed futuristic glasses that guests can collect as a lasting souvenir of the MSC Starship Club experience. Guests will be able to return to the club multiple times over the course of their cruise, experiencing a new interaction with Rob each time.

This latest innovation takes cutting-edge robotics and digital technologies to deliver a futuristic and immersive entertainment lounge, completely re-imagining the traditional bar experience.

There are 21 bars aboard MSC Virtuosa, including L’Atelier Bar & Art and the Jean-Philippe Maury chocolaterie, and five outdoor bars.

MSC Virtuoso‘s debut itinerary on 16 April is being sold as either a two-night cruise from Genoa to Barcelona, three-nights to Marseille or four-nights back to Genoa.

After completing a few three-, four- and five-night cruises in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to Northern Europe in summer 2021 with a range of itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.

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