SkyTender puts automation in airplane aisles

(Credit: SkyMax)

Don’t you hate waiting for the drinks cart to slowly make its way through economy class to your seat? This gadget might speed things up a bit.

SkyTender isn’t quite the robot bartender that some are making it out to be, but as an automated drinks dispenser it could make flying slightly less hellish than it nearly always is.

This beverage trolley can whip up more than 30 different drinks, including soft drinks, coffee, wine, and cocktails, at the touch of a button or two.

Regular trolleys can be upgraded to SkyTenders with the installation of modular drinks cartridges that use an RFID system and a CO2 cylinder for the dispenser mechanism.

As seen in the educational vid below, SkyTender has a touch screen that rises out of the trolley. Put a cup in the dispenser, push a button on the screen, and there’s your drink. A stocked trolley, which has about 8 gallons of hot and cold water on board, can prepare up to 290 drink servings.

Yes, you still need a flight attendant in the loop. Changing the drinks cartridges, keeping the batteries charged, and other maintenance tasks mean there’s room for breakdowns, but perhaps no more than when conventional trolleys run out of your choice of wine.

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