A pizza-making robot, coming soon to a pizza place near you?
Who can’t resist a fresh hot slice of delicious pizza? Especially, one that’s made by a robot!
Robots are already cooking up burgers in San Francisco and making coffee drinks at airports.
Now, a Seattle company called Picnic is using its pizza-making robot to serve up fresh, hot slices. Recently, at CES we got to check out the robot in action!
The assembly line robot can put together upwards of 300 custom pizzas an hour.
CEO Clayton Wood says the food industry needs to evolve and it’s having a tough time filling entry level jobs.
“That labor shortage results in high turnover, poorly trained workers, poor quality of food,” says Wood.
Picnic’s robot is modular meaning it expands to accommodate multiple toppings.
Once a crust is loaded in computer vision figures out the size and placement, automatically dispensing sauce, cheese and toppings in the right places and proportions.
“There’s a lot of food waste in pizza restaurants, untrained workers will make the pizza they want instead of the pizza the recipe calls for,” explained Wood.
The system wasn’t an exhibitor at the recent tech show at CES, but actually made pizzas for paying customers.
Like it or not, quick serve restaurants are investing in robots.
Other robotic restaurant concepts haven’t had as much luck, a buzzy burger-flipping robot wasn’t enough to keep a Caliburger location in business and pizza robot company, Zume, recently delivered its last pie.
We asked Wood what his thoughts were about if they were putting people out of work?
“What we’re seeing is we’re actually putting job openings out of work, because every restaurant we know is short of labor,” said Wood.
So, how did the pizza made by a robot taste? Actually pretty good, just like regular pizza.
Picnic says their system will work with lots of different foods in the future, including tacos, sandwiches, salads and anything else that can be made assembly line style.
Now: Listen to the latest Rich on Tech Podcast, where I talk about the tech stories I think you should know about and answer the questions you send me!