Commuters can buy gourmet coffee from robot baristas at 30 MRT stations by end-2022


Ashley Tan | August 19, 2021, 01:07 PM

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By the end of 2022, commuters at 30 MRT stations around Singapore will have another option to get their pick-me-up on the go.

ELLA the robot

The collaboration between retail management company Stellar Lifestyle and F&B start-up Crown Digital will see baristas of the mechanical kind whipping up cups of gourmet coffee.

These robot baristas, named ELLA, will take up a space of less than 5sqm, and have a cashless and contactless interface, according to a Crown Digital media release.

Photo from Crown Digital

It will be able to serve up to 200 cups of gourmet coffee per hour to commuters.

Additionally, commuters will be able to order their coffee in advance via the Crown Digital app, allowing them to conveniently collect their drinks once they arrive at the MRT station.

Photo from Crown Digital

AI-powered system

ELLA has an advanced artificial intelligence-powered computer vision system that is able to spot anomalies like spillage and foreign objects.

Should some incident occur, a digitalised backend admin will update the Central Command Centre in real-time in order to resolve it.

It also has improved security features such as fully sealed chambers to prevent tampering, as well as 24/7 'live' video analytics monitoring.

The robot baristas are part of Stellar Lifestyle's plans to "enhance lifestyle experiences" through technology at public transport spaces.

Deploying the robot baristas at these areas ensures that Crown Digital has a "target addressable market of 1.4 million ridership daily" in Singapore, the company's CEO Keith Tan said.

The deployment of ELLA is also Crown Digital's second collaboration in a rail network. The company previously clinched an agreement in Dec. 2020 to deploy the robot baristas for test marketing at JR East train stations in Japan.

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Top photo from Crown Digital