From 15th July 2020, Sydney will welcome Australia’s first robotic , contactless, bar in Darlinghurst, created by leading international premium beer brand, Heineken, in collaboration with Sydney University. This is a timely launch with the need for physical distancing continuing across the country.
As part of its ‘Now You Can’ campaign, Heineken® is set to unveil a first-of-its-kind ‘zero contact bar’ for its increasingly popular premium alcohol-free beer brand, Heineken® 0.0, in response to COVID-19 guidelines that continue to shape the way drinkers enjoy their beers. In classic Heineken® style, this is no ordinary bar and allows drinkers to enjoy a beer just the way they like it – and this time, with ample elbow room.
To bring the innovative bar concept to life, the brand will use a contactless robotic arm, which has been developed by a team of robotics students and engineers from the University of Sydney.
Through the robotic technology, the Heineken® Zer0.0 Contact Bar, creates a seamless, safe – and cool – twist to bar service. Two robotic arms – named Heidi and Ken – will serve up Heineken® 0.0 with the beer delivered ice cold via a ‘beer train’ – a conveyor belt that runs through the bar. No person-to-person contact is necessary before the beer is consumed.
University of Sydney Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Australian Centre for Field Robotics marine robotics expert, Professor Stefan Williams, said: “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.
“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.”
The Heineken® Zer0.0 Contact Bar will open in Sydney from 15 July for a four-day run, giving Sydneysiders a chance to enjoy this unique bar. The bar will be open between 11am and 6pm each day. With the bar providing a ‘alcohol-free, contact-free’ proposition, the beer will also be free for drinkers to enjoy.
To ensure bar patrons get the most out of the experience, the Heineken® Zer0.0 Contact Bar will permit one person at a time, bringing a new definition to ‘private bar’.
Malcolm Eadie, Brand Director of Premium and Craft Beer at Lion, said: “The past few months have been challenging and as we continue to adjust to physical distancing, we thought about how we could help more people try an alcohol-free beer during July, in a safe and responsible way.
“Heineken® has a long and proud history of great innovation and is also renowned for providing first-class hospitality. The Zer0.0 Contact Bar represents both and provides a unique destination for trying a great-tasting alcohol-free beer in the current environment. We look forward to welcoming people along to our ‘alcohol-free, contact-free’ bar to enjoy a brand new drinking experience.”
Heineken® 0.0 is their first alcohol-free beer and launched in Australia in 2019. Since its launch, the beer has surged in popularity as many Australians seek to moderate their drinking.
It gives beer drinkers more choice, opening up new occasions for consumption, so ‘now you can’ enjoy a great-tasting beer when you want a beer but not the alcohol that comes with it.
Edited by Arrnott Olssen