This cleaning robot at Sea-Tac Airport may just sweep you off your feet. | Photo via Port of Seattle
Meep boop bleep — not to short circuit your brains, but robots have quietly invaded Seattle.
With new types of androids seemingly rolling out every day, you may not have noticed that there are quite a few places in town where they’re doing everyday tasks like prepping food and cleaning up.
Some may be a little freaked out by that, but we (for one) welcome our new robot overlords. They represent our Seattle’s passion for innovation — and, frankly, we don’t want to make them mad.
🤖 Open the pod bay doors
Here’s just a small sample of how local robots are put to work.
Making pizza: Super-popular pizzeria MOTO is in such demand that the owner has employed a robot to help make pies and is also now considering automated bartenders + drone delivery.
Serving coffee: Pike Place Market’s Artly Coffee has robotic baristas that can pour a mean latte and even recommend drinks to customers.
Cleaning Sea-Tac Airport: The Port of Seattle has experimented with several automated machines — including one that sweeps floors, allowing human janitors to multitask more efficiently.
Being a hotel butler: South Lake Union’s Astra Hotel touts its bells + whistles like a lil’ robot named Sparky that delivers room service.
Handling packages: Amazon has deployed small blue robots in its Arlington warehouse that help warehouse workers lift and sort items in a safer way.
🤖 Humanoids are welcome, too
If all this bot talk gave you a jolt, get that resume prepped. Several top robotics companies in the Seattle area are hiring for projects that cover everything from agriculture tech to self-driving vehicles.
Those just looking for a casual hobby can also drop in on a meeting of the Seattle Robotics Society, which are always welcoming new tinkerers. Secret password? 000100101, we think.
University Book Store’s Guide(s) | Monday, Sept. 18 | 6-7 p.m. | University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle | Free | Local guidebook authors Harriet Baskas, Susanna Ryan, and David Williams share their pro tips about Seattle.
“Still I Reach For You” Seattle Premiere | Monday, Sept. 18-Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 7-9 p.m. | Ark Lodge Cinemas, 4816 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle | $10 | This indie film about a day in the life of an AIDS widow was filmed entirely in King County.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
Old Forester Scratch + Sniff Tasting | Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 6-8 p.m. | Foreign National, 300 E. Pike St., Seattle | $42 | Celebrate Bourbon Month by sipping on four Old Forester neat pours paired with bites.
Sewing 1: Tote Bag with KFLY | Tuesday, Sept. 19-Tuesday, Sept. 26 | 6-8:30 p.m. | Sassafras Local Designs, 2307 First Ave., Seattle | $150 | Brush up on sewing basics and craft a cool tote in the two-part series.
Wednesday, Sept. 20
Coldplay: Music of the Spheres World Tour | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 6:30 p.m. | Lumen Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle | $130-$224 | Wait, does Chris Martin and company mean the AMAZON Spheres? Probably not — expect hits like “Fix You” instead.
Mafia... with Comedians! | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 8-10 p.m. | Capitol Hill Comedy Bar, 210 Broadway E., Seattle | $10 | Play the killer party game with ~50 of your closest friends and stand-up comics Travis Sherer + Marcus Moreno.
Thursday, Sept. 21
WNDR After Dark: WNDR Renaissance Faire | Thursday, Sept. 21 | 6-10 p.m. | WNDR Museum Seattle, 904 Alaskan Way, Seattle | $22-$38 | The classic ren faire with an artsy, interactive twist includes a floral crown crafting workshop, costumes, and a scavenger hunt for the Holy Grail.
Friday, Sept. 22
Seattle Frocktails 2023 | Friday, Sept. 22 | 7-10 p.m. | Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine St., Seattle | $55 | This unique ball invites attendees to arrive in something they’ve made themselves, whether a casual fit or an elaborate gown.
Thursday, Oct. 12
Gather: REFRACT’s Official Opening Night Party | Thursday, Oct. 12 | 6:30-9 p.m. | Chihuly Garden and Glass, 305 Harrison St, Seattle | $50 | This very special night kicks off REFRACT, the nation’s premiere glass art event now celebrating its 5th anniversary.*
Portland chef Gregory Gourdet speaks to the authors of Black Power Kitchen at the 2022 Portland Book Festival. | Photo by Shawnte Sims for Literary Arts
Where can you find thousands of books, dozens of authors, and countless literature loversin one place? At the2023 Portland Book Festival, of course.
The all-ages fest, happening on Saturday, Nov. 4, features writing workshops for youth and adults, kids’ storytime, an extensive book fair, local food trucks, and a day of thoughtfully-curated stories and discussions with local + national authors, including:
Michael Lewis (author of “Moneyball” and “The Big Short”)
Viet Thanh Nguyen (author of “The Refugees” and “The Sympathizer”)
Curtis Sittenfeld (author of “Romantic Comedy”)
Peep the list of authors. Advance ($15) or day-of ($25) passes include a $5 book fair voucher and entry into the Portland Art Museum. Bonus: Kids under 17 get in free.
Let out those roars, 12s. On Sunday, the Seahawks beat the Detroit Lions on the road, 37-31. Quarterback Geno Smith threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning score to wide receiver Tyler Lockett in OT.
The semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program were announced recently, with many local students making the list. Bellevue’s Interlake High School had the highest number in the state at 38. Finalists will be revealed in February, and of those, ~7,000 will receive scholarships totaling $28 million. (Seattle Times)
West Seattleites Jess Fleming and Karlie Causey have released a line of sports bras designed for nursing mothers. The co-founders are former college athletes who started a Kickstarter for their project, which they said takes an “athlete first” design approach. Each bra is made with recyclable fabric. (West Seattle Blog)
We’re gonna need a bigger boat. An 8-ft, dead white sturgeon weighing 400 pounds was recently found on the shores of Lake Washington in Kenmore. Officials couldn’t determine the cause of death, but they estimated the fish was 60 to 80 years old. (KING 5)
Seattle Public Library is temporarily closing two branches for construction this month. The Capitol Hill branch will be shut down Tuesday, Sept. 19 through Monday, Sept. 25 to install an HVAC system. The Douglass-Truth will be closed Monday, Sept. 25 through Friday, Sept. 29 for sewer pipe repairs.
Heads up, PNW foragers. A US representative from Washington has co-sponsored a bill that would make it easier to harvest items like mushrooms and berries from national forests. If passed, the bill would add permit exemptions for Native tribes and folks gathering plants for personal use. (Seattle Times)
UK cosmetics retailer Lush is planning a return to downtown after closing its Westlake Center location during the pandemic. The shop secured space in a condo tower at 1521 Second Ave., but no opening date has been revealed. Lush has 950+ stores worldwide, including outposts in Bellevue and Lynnwood. (Puget Sound Business Journal)
Audiologists are raving about the latest generation of Horizon hearing aids. Why the excitement? They deliver unmatched speech clarity in an ultra-discreet design. The best part?hear.com offers a local, 45-day no-risk trial, so you can try before you buy. Secure your spot.*
How many credit cards are in your wallet? Make your answer “one.” The Ascent’s credit card experts personally signed up for this card because of its perfect mix of benefits: up to 5% cash back, a big bonus, no annual fee, the list goes on. Learn more.*
The 700-sqft space brings together 15 different organizations dedicated to celebrating Ukrainian culture and organizing humanitarian support. It’ll be open seven days a week for activities like language classes, social clubs, and after-school programs for kids.
Since the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Washington state has taken in 16,000+ refugees who joined a large community already settled here. In fact, Washington has hosted more Ukrainian refugees than any other state over the past decade.
Bellevue’s new cultural center will focus on assisting refugees, but anybody can swing by to learn more about the country’s traditions. And if you want to support the new location, there’s a housewarming Kickstarter open.
I’m not typically a trollish person, but I’m excited for the National Nordic Museum to unveil the last of five local sculptures from Danish artist Thomas Dambo’s “Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King” project today. Have you collected ‘em all?