Innovation in Robotics and the Future of Food Production and Delivery

Innovation in Robotics and the Future of Food Production and Delivery

Robotics is one of the fields where important innovation opportunities are being built. This also means changing the ways food is produced, delivered, and affecting the workforce. According to Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, nearly 50% of the 702 occupation types surveyed by the experts are at risk of being fully automated. Google’s self-driving car has passed 700,000 accident-free miles, or with bionics, where we have seen a complex bionic hand or robots for rehabilitation. However, robots expansion is also happening in food industry related areas, especially in delivery. In this post, we present a brief sample of the potential of robotics in the food production and delivery.

Robots to prepare the meal
A restaurant in China is using a robotic chef to slice noodles. This is a very repetitive and exhausting task that those who want to become a chef don’t want to do, as its promoter argues in the following video. Additionally, the robot is faster, cheaper, and more efficient than human workers, as those who have tried it explain.

In the same way, a burger robot aims to disrupt the fast food industry. The device of Momentum Machines is able to slice tomatoes or cucumbers and place the slices onto the burger patty. Its creators say that it is more hygienic than human workers and is also capable of producing 360 hamburgers per hour. In this case, the device doesn’t aim to facilitate workers’ tasks, but to substitute them, as Momentum Machines cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas points out in the linked article.

Robots to deliver food
Another area where the use of robots is beginning to be more visible is in food delivery, where a different modality of robots can be seen, from drones to robots that move along the ground. For instance, the restaurant Yo! Sushi is using a remote-powered drone capable of holding a tray of food, as you can see in the next video.

Other major companies such as Dominos Pizza are testing the drones system to deliver food in larger distances. Here is a video demonstration of the DomiCopter, a remote-controlled device capable of carrying two pizzas in flight, traveling four miles in ten minutes.

The Korean Robotics Company Yujin has developed a food delivery robot, especially designed for operating autonomously in care facilities. They call the whole system GoCart and is able to control a team of robots, autonomously operating and delivering what is needed, where it is needed. The robots also have the ability to carry snacks or other foods ordered by a smartphone.

Another example of a robot used for food delivery are the following ones used in different restaurants in Kunshan, China as explained in this article, or in the Heilongjiang province, as it shows the following video from the Al Jazeera News.

Robots to prepare drinks
Makr Shakr is a new robotic bartending system that is yet a further example of the advances in the field of robotics for delivering food and drinks. They creators says that this is a new way of using digital manufacturing for co-creation since the robot allows for customers to share connections, recipes, and photos of their cocktails on social networks and get involved in the design process of their drinks. Furthermore, Makr Shakr can monitor alcohol consumption and blood alcohol levels hence promoting responsible drinking, as explained on its website.

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