MSC Cruises Introduces The “MSC Starship Club” Featuring The World’s First Humanoid Robotic Bartender At Sea

MSC Cruises revealed today details of the immersive, futuristic “MSC Starship Club” featuring Rob, the first-ever humanoid, robotic bartender at sea.

The MSC Starship Club will be exclusively available on board the line’s newest flagship MSC Virtuosa when she comes into service from 16 April this year.

This integrated bar and entertainment experience, inspired by MSC Cruises’ vision of the spaceship of the future – MSC Starliner One is enabled by state-of-the-art technologies designed to create a futuristic atmosphere.

This includes 3D holograms, an immersive digital art wall and a 12-seater infinity digital interactive table, giving guests the possibility to explore space with their own personalised galactic tour. Rob will mix, and serve his signature cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and countless personalised drinks, just like a human bartender would do, whilst engaging the guests with his voice, human-like expressions for a fully immersive bar experience. Rob’s skills and emotional responsiveness combined with bartenders dressed as if they had just stepped out of a sci-fi movie supported by the immersive surroundings and technology will ensure that the MSC Starship Club is a must-visit attraction for all ages.

Guests will use specifically designed vertical digital cockpits within the area to place their order. Rob will then get to work and use all of his customised robotic skills to prepare the cocktails – pouring spirits, juices and syrups; shaking, building or stirring the concoctions; garnishing.

Not only does Rob prepare an impressive range of cocktails, but he can speak 8 languages (English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese), according to language chosen when the guest makes the order and he also has a clear personality that evolves with the surrounding settings and atmospheres. He uses his LED face to convey emotion so that guests can enjoy his performance whilst they sip on their cocktail.

The status of the cocktail preparation will be displayed through digital monitors within the area and a ticker-tape-style LED strip above the robotic island, whilst being immersed in the space-themed experience. The cosmic cocktails are served in custom-designed futuristic glasses that guests can be collected as a lasting souvenir of the MSC Starship Club experience. Guests will be able to return to the club multiple times over the course of their cruise, experiencing a new interaction with Rob each time.

MSC Cruises is constantly looking to the future for inspiration for the guest experiences, seeking out new ways to employ the latest technology to create something unique, to develop new innovations on board to elevate the guest offering to the next level. This latest innovation takes cutting-edge robotics and digital technologies to deliver a futuristic, immersive entertainment lounge, completely re-imagining the traditional bar experience to literally transport guests to another world.

The MSC Starship Club has been nearly six years in the making, since the first original concept and the Company has really pushed the boundaries with the engineering that has gone into making this a reality. During this time, MSC Cruises has worked with leading experts from companies specialising in robotics and automation, interior design as well as entertainment and digital experience solutions to create a custom designed entertainment venue with a humanoid robot as the star.

MSC Virtuosa is the line’s newest flagship and will come into service in April this year. Each and every MSC Cruises ship is unique and MSC Virtuosa will feature new experiences for guests, with the introduction of Rob being just one of them. She will be highly equipped with cutting-edge technologies and environmentally conscious capabilities.

After completing a few three, four and five-night cruises in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to Northern Europe in summer 2021 with a range of itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.

More About Rob
Rob comes from a remote planet at the edge of the universe and is a galaxy-trotter: he has travelled all the way around the galaxy and, during his journeys to many different planets, he has learned mixology in the best intergalactic bars. He perfected his technique on small satellites far in the galaxy, on colonised Mars and many other places, and now he has decided to bring his abilities exclusively at the service of MSC Cruises’ Guests.

Rob loves to interact with humans! He is not a cold machine but a humanoid that can interact with guests using a witty and involving language, changing his facial expressions and if he is in the mood, even showing his dance moves. He likes being at the centre of attention, something he does by telling everyone who surrounds him jokes, riddles and space trivia.

This humanoid robotic bartender moves his arms, body and head in a highly natural way, all collaborating to give the impression that a real bartender is preparing the cocktail – a very unique engineering feature. Different facial expressions and a voice have been designed to give Rob a human-like personality.

When Rob is not preparing cocktails, he can scan the environment around him and recognise guests passing by, through an intelligent human recognition movements system placed on his head and he will be able to greet and engage with them. Rob can speak 8 languages (English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese), according to language chosen when the guest makes the order.

Rob is not the only crew member in the area. Human bartenders will be always be on-hand to assist and prepare unique beverages too as part of the overall experience.

About the MSC Starship Club Lounge
This is not just a bar but a live entertainment experience. Partnering with leading creative and digital agencies, MSC Cruises has worked to design and deliver an end-to-end digital content bringing to life board/ashore activities of the futuristic imagined space cruises, to entertain and engage the guests.

The robotic island solution is completely automated and integrated with all the catering machines and tools needed for the end-to-end drink preparation and delivery. Safety glass and the 2-level safety laser barriers have been installed to avoid any mishaps.

In line with current health and safety protocol, the human bar menu is accessible scanning a QR code from the Guest’s smartphone as well as reading the futuristic LED-based bar counter menus.

The MSC Starship Club also offers an extensive futuristic menu served from the human bar in addition to the cocktails served by Rob These cocktails are not included within the drinks packages.

(MSC Cruises)