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Wine Buff-bot

Wine Buff-bot

By Hannah Isom

Researchers in Japan have developed a robot capable of wine-tasting. The 2ft tall robot sommelier or "wine-bot" uses infrared light to "taste" different wines and also some foods.

Developed by NEC System Technologies and Mie University, the sophisticated mini-connoisseur can even distinguish between several types or blends of grapes. Using a sensor on its arm, the robot analyses wine by firing infrared light through the sample. It then conveys its findings via its built-in voice box.

The company's director, Mr Shimazu has been quick to defend claims that the robot is exhibiting technology for the sake of it, suggesting that it could be used as a kind of personal shopper, recommending wines to suit customer's individual tastes.

The drawback of this is presumably you have to share your wine with an inanimate android, and though admittedly many of us have been doing this for years, frankly it's more fun to drink it yourself!

To read more about Hannah or to view more of her articles click here

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29 Apr 2010
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