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Another robotic frontier: Fast food

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08 October 2012



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They can’t build the machines fast enough to satisfy the demand, particularly from Italian end-users. A1 Concepts Let’s Pizza machines are in Europe and soon will be coming to the US. The devices don’t just reheat frozen pizzas; they create an authentic 10.5″ pizza, made from scratch with fresh ingredients in less than 2-1/2 minutes. The machine mixes dough, rolls it out, adds toppings, cooks the pie and then dispenses it in a take-away box… all in less than 3 minutes!

Cupcake
Cupcake ATMs from Sprinkles Cupcakes have been running so smooth that the ATM cupcake machine will be expanding to other locations. There was a bigger line outside the Beverly Hills store to try the ATM cupcake machine than going inside and buying in-store.

Robotic frozen yogurt and ice cream kiosks are beginning to populate malls, student unions and various public facilities. Robofusion, a South Carolina interactive kiosks manufacturer, has partnered with Sodexo, a large provider of integrated food and facilities management services, to provide Reis & Irvy’s frozen yogurt kiosks in various malls and public places including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

On the horizon are restaurants with iPad/tablet menues and robotic servers — there are already experiments like this going on in China — and noodle cutting, falafel cutting and sushi roll rolling and cutting machines.

Common to all these new devices are simple-to-use order entry and payment screens, the acceptance of currency, coins and credit cards, and the “watch factor,” i.e., the ability to see what’s going on inside the machine.

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Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





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