Cross-competence collaboration makes it possible

Robot barista serves coffee at CIIT

Roboter-Barista CinITo

The core team of the project includes the members of inIT Natalia Moriz, Philip Priss, Andreas Schmelter, Benedikt Lücke, Philip Sehr & Christoph Geng. (from left to right)

Coffee with milk, cappuccino or rather latte macchiato? No matter which drink you choose, at the CENTRUM INDUSTRIAL IT (CIIT) in Lemgo, coffee will soon be prepared and served to you at events by the robotic barista "CinITo". This will complement the already existing coffee offer of the Ciitrus. The Center for Intelligent Automation now has a new eye-catcher in its building, which makes the interaction of industrial IT technologies tangible and experienceable even for people outside the field.

The way to get there was long. The concept and the first physical structure of the robotic arm were developed as part of a bachelor's thesis, which was supervised by CIIT board member Prof. Jürgen Jasperneite. Subsequently, about a year ago, an interdisciplinary team consisting of several employees of different working groups of the CIIT partner Institute for Industrial Information Technology (inIT) of the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts came together, which has continued the project since then. Various areas of expertise work hand in hand on the complicated implementation.

"In terms of software, we had to come up with a completely new concept. We worked in small teams on the various building blocks and then came together again regularly as a group. We brought our individual results together to create the overall solution," reports Natalia Moriz, project manager.

In addition to the inIT team, which is committed to the project in a special way and alongside its normal day-to-day business, other CIIT partners are also supporting the development of the coffee robot. Weidmüller and Phoenix Contact, for example, are contributing components and the latter is assisting with the implementation of the safety concept. The project has also met with great interest from Melitta, the company that sponsored the fully automatic coffee machine at the time. They are participating by sponsoring an enclosure and would like to use the demonstrator for internal and external trade shows. With amazed eyes, all those involved were able to enjoy the first successful coffee production by barista "CinITo" at the beginning of December.

"This was impressive for all of us and we were able to see that our work has paid off. Especially the cross-group cooperation at our inIT was strengthened by this joint activity. A project like this shows how important teamwork is. It is great to see how new ideas arise, how solutions are sought together and how people rejoice over successes. Right at the first successfully served coffee, we held a small brainstorming meeting together and immediately found new approaches as to what else we could implement on the demonstrator," Natalia Moriz sums up.

In the future, further possibilities and services of the coffee robot are to be investigated within the framework of student project work or thesis work.