‘Textspresso’ robot brews java via text message

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:36 EDT
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A Zipwhip employee waits for a cup of coffee being brewed by a robot that takes orders via text message. Screenshot via Seattle's KOMO News.
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A tech startup in Seattle has created a robot that serves up piping hot java confections, just by reading text messages.

It’s called the “Textspresso,” according to Zipwhip CEO John Lauer, who recently spoke to Seattle’s KOMO News.

He said the company designed and built it not as a new money-making venture, but as a convenience and cost savings for their employees. (It can’t hurt as a marketing device either.)

The company isn’t even in the coffee business: they offer a cloud-based text messaging service that allows phone numbers to easily interface with personal computers, enabling users to send and receive text via their desktop and phone simultaneously.

This capability could also allow companies to use the raw data from text messages to do unique things, like brew coffee. A neat touch: because the “Textspresso” handles multiple orders, it even uses edible ink to label individual drinks with the name of the person who ordered it.

While they’re not planning to sell the robot, baristas from coast to coast still aren’t entirely in the clear: Lauer told KOMO News that Zipwhip will release their designs for the “Textspresso” for free on the Internet soon.

This video is from KOMO News in Seattle, broadcast April 6, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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