Scientists have created a robot dedicated to tasting beer

The dream job of a million Johnny Fives

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(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Pity the poor robots, asked to do so much, offered so little in return. But that may be changing. Scientists at the Autonomous University of Barcelona have created a robotic tongue dedicated to tasting beer. It’s the kind of gig hard-working robots have been pining for—the dream job of a million Johnny Fives.

The robo-tongue could help us humans, too. According to one recent study, it can already distinguish between six kinds of beer with 82% accuracy. It uses 21 electrodes trained with supervised learning to detect the chemical traits of brews like pilsner and double malt. The robo-tongue could one day replace human taste testers in large breweries, helping improve the consistentency of the global beer supply. By varying the sensors, similar technology could also become a major weapon in the war against food and wine fraud.

The electronic tongue works better than it looks (Photo: Manel del Valle)

The electronic tongue works better than it looks (Photo: Manel del Valle)

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