Contactless and automatic cafés have arrived in Canada: The Dark Horse Espresso Bar's Dark Horse Coffee Automat, a fully automated, contactless robotic café, has been operational at its Bay Street location in Toronto since August 30, and new locations are slated to appear elsewhere in the GTA, Vancouver and Montreal.
The Automat in Toronto is a collaboration bewteen Dark Horse, the technology providers RC Coffee, a Missasauga-based unattended coffee kiosk producer, and the Toronto-based designers Mjolk. Open 24/7, the new café-design collab device is designed to offer "high quality espresso drinks on par with (Dark Horse's) cafes, ordered via a simple screen interface or touchless web-flow" according to the Automat's website, with promises of a mobile app.
While no date has been set for the Montreal location yet—there are plans to open 100 stores by the end of 2021, according to a report by Daily Hive—but the project is promising at a time when customers want to avoid enclosed and potentially poorly-ventilated spaces during the upcoming winter season and beyond.
Made-to-order drinks can be purchased through the Automat’s touchscreen interface or online, and the creators of concept have gone so far as to say that the machine is capable of doing anything a barista can.