NASA Engineer Makes Your New Robo-Barista


Most coffee shop regulars are willing to sacrifice at least some quality for speed, and the time-consuming process of  making pour-over coffee usually just isn’t feasible when there’s a line of customers out the door, even if the end product is a superior brew. In July, Cafe Grumpy introduced their solution to this problem at the Chelsea branch: a robotic pour-over machine capable of brewing 5 cups at a time. The Poursteady was engineered by Mark Sibenac and Stuart Heys, whose CVs include building parts for NASA’s Mars Rover, but who have now turned their attention towards quintupling the production of pour-over coffee.

Far from becoming our caffeinated robot overlord, the Poursteady actually puts as much control as possible in the hands of the barista, who can change the water temperature to within a degree, the water volume to within a gram, the timing to within a second, and the size of the drizzle pattern, all from a custom app. Outsourcing all those controls to an app keeps the machine itself clean and simple. So far, it seems to be working well for Cafe Grumpy, who originally installed the Poursteady for a trial run but bought it only a month later. Several more are currently in production, and you can even buy your own through their website.

To read more, click here.


Correction: an earlier version of this article listed Stephan von Muehlen, the product designer, as chief engineer.


  1. Thanks for the article, but the real NASA engineers on the team are my co-founders, Stuart and Mark. Gotta give credit where credit is due!

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