Will Knight in New Scientist:
Japanese beer maker Asahi plans to give away 5000 personal bartending bots, each of which can store up to six cans of beer in a refrigerated compartment within its belly. At the push of a button the simple robots will open a can and pour the chilled contents into a glass for a thirsty owner.
To win one of the beer-bots, in a promotion for the company’s new low malt beer, contestants must collect 36 tokens found on the specially marked beers. But the competition, starting in February, is only open to those in Japan.
Some robotics experts see the promotion as a fun way to promote a wider interest in robotics. Others, however, say it is a gimmick that distracts from genuine robot research.