Heineken 0.0 has launched a new ‘zero contact bar’ in Darlinghurst, Sydney as part of its ‘Now You Can’ campaign. The bar will open between 11am and 6pm from Wednesday 15 July to Saturday 18 July.
The ‘first-of-its-kind’ venture comes as further restrictions loom, with the concept designed in response to COVID-19 guidelines. A contactless robotic arm, developed by a team of robotics students from the University of Sydney, is the venue’s centrepiece.
The Heineken Zer0.0 Contact Bar will use the technology to create a service that means no person-to-person contact is necessary before the beer is consumed. Heineken 0.0 will be served up by two robotic arms, dubbed Heidi and Ken, and delivered via a conveyor belt.
The bar will only allow one person in at a time, with beer provided free to complement the ‘alcohol-free, contact-free’ proposition.
“We challenged some of our students, who recently completed an experimental robotics course, to create a robotic, contactless solution by delivering samples to Heineken®’s customers,” says Professor Stefan Williams, Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Sydney and Australian Centre for Field Robotics marine robotics expert. “The students programmed the robots to recognise when customers approach the bar and then hand them a beverage. Exploring this concept and putting it into practice, was a great way for our students to leverage the work they had done in their lab class.”