Welcome our New Robotic Overlords

A robot just made my espresso! A quick stock photo excursion brought me to the newish Robo-cafe in San Francisco’s Metreon.

CAFE X, ROBOTIC CAFÉ IN SAN FRANCISCO
CAFE X, ROBOTIC CAFÉ IN SAN FRANCISCO

Cafe X is clearly intended as a prototype or a  publicity stunt. There’s actually a human watching over the entire operation. And there’s no way I can see that they’re even able to cover rent at San Francisco’s Metreon selling a couple hundred espresso drinks at ca. $3/ea.

CAFE X, ROBOTIC CAFÉ IN SAN FRANCISCO
CAFE X, ROBOTIC CAFÉ IN SAN FRANCISCO

But it was fun watching the “Barista” nick-named Gordon at work making my espresso and cappuccino. Best of all he doesn’t accept tips!

CAFE X, ROBOTIC CAFÉ IN SAN FRANCISCO
CAFE X, ROBOTIC CAFÉ IN SAN FRANCISCO

(and check out this video)

California is Full of Beans!

Warning: This post actually has nothing really to do with Silicon Valley!

Outline of the State of California (Michael Halberstadt)

Some time ago I ordered some cookie cutters with the intention of making some stock photo artwork. The idea was to shape other objects into the shape of states.  I had a list of things I thought would make for a cool juxtaposition, but not all really worked as planned.  My studio lighting setup is less than ideal, and our studio is a bit of a mess much of the time, which also kept me from finishing up this idea.

Recently my studio mate needed to darken our windows for one of his projects and it so happened that I just got an LED video light. So “painting with light” seemed like a good way to approach this subject.  If you aren’t familiar with the concept, you can take a long exposure and move a constant light source around your object for a unique result. I’m pretty happy with the lighting, though I hadn’t factored in the reflections from the metallic sides.

What did seem to work easily were a few agricultural products that fit nicely in the state frames. I poured a few different types of beans with varying success- coffee and pinto seemed to work best.

I have a list of other ideas what to stuff to frame up in the shape of California, and other geographic boundaries. But until you see them here, I’m gonna keep ’em secret.