Starbucks baristas will write your name on the side of your coffee cup, but that’s nowhere near the level of personalisation the Barista Bot is capable of. After snapping your portrait with a webcam, it uses a robotic arm to then draw your face in the milk foam atop your latte. That’s overkill in the best way possible.
Engineered and built by a design shop called Hypersonic working alongside Rock Paper Robot, Jamie Zigelbaum and Kyle McDonald, the Barista Bot was commissioned as a marketing stunt for GE at SXSW. And while the results aren’t quite a renaissance masterpiece, they’re still a considerable step up over a decorative leaf.