STARWEST 2020 Concurrent Session : Testing Your Way to Innovation: The Story of a Robotic Bartender


Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 2:15pm to 3:15pm

Testing Your Way to Innovation: The Story of a Robotic Bartender

The challenge was simple: Build a voice-powered mixologist capable of making drinks based on whichever spirits and mixers were placed into it. Working with his team, Mark Gharibian designed an AWS-powered, Alexa-driven, Arduino/Raspberry Pi-running, laser-cut bartender prototype. Using an iterative approach, they designed and developed the hardware and software in tandem. Each iteration taught them something new and changed the way they approached testing in the innovation space. They operated in a nontraditional way, on a nontraditional project, using nontraditional tools—and how they got there was the fun part. Join Mark to hear about the project and how it can be applied to your own. We'll cover leveraging testing as a means for innovation by promoting iterative design and development, testing conversational and voice-enabled user interfaces, and bridging the divide between software and hardware testing.

E.&J. Gallo Winery

Mark Gharibian has worked in the IT Industry for over 20 years. He's currently the IT Innovation Manager for E&J Gallo Winery and an adjunct faculty member at California State University, Stanislaus for the Computer Information Systems department. His undergraduate degree is in Computer Science and postgraduate degree is an MBA. Mark started his career as a Software Developer and he worked his way up to QA engineer. He made the switch from a software company to a CPG organization when he came to Gallo 15 years ago. Since then, Mark's been designing, developing, testing and implementing systems across all functional areas within the organization. Now he's focused on innovation and emerging technologies like AI, Conversational Interfaces, IoT, Robotics & RPA, Mobile App Development, Drones, Prototyping, 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, and others inside Gallo's innovation lab.