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Come in, sit down, and chat with the bartender at the Robots Bar and Lounge in Ilmenau, Germany. Carl, the humanoid barkeep, will engage you in a short conversation and then help a human bartender prepare you a nice cocktail. Made from parts of discarded industrial robots, Carl wears a sensor-studded belt that keeps him from crashing into the bar or his flesh-and-blood coworkers.
Willie Jones is an associate editor at IEEE Spectrum. In addition to editing and planning daily coverage, he manages several of Spectrum's newsletters and contributes regularly to the monthly Big Picture section that appears in the print edition.