Shaken or stirred? Drone bartender battles bots in design challenge

A squadron of flying bartender droids on their way to deliver your daiquiri.

Don’t you wish that at the end of the day, a drone would meet you at your front door with a fresh margarita? That’s the idea behind Yura the flying bartender—one of 35 conceptual contenders in the 2014 Electrolux Design competition. Won last year by a concept for a swarm of bee-like cleaning drones called Mab, the Design Lab competition has drawn a number of autonomous system concepts this year that roll, fly, swim…or just sit there and maintain a vacuum.

Mab, the winning concept in the 2013 Electrolux Design Lab competition.

Designed by Herman Haydin, a design student at the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture, Yura can carry up to a liter of juice, cocktails, tea, or coffee while keeping it heated or cooled and then dispense it into foldable cups or another vessel at the preference of the person being served. The intent of the design is to have Yura respond to voice or mobile app control.

Whether Yura is practical as a product remains to be seen. The same is true of some of the other autonomous semi-finalists in the Design Lab competition, which include:

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