Robots are also making our food, freeing up workers and generally speeding up the process. Piestro, for example, developed an automated artisan pizza service for vending machines, which will soon use facial recognition to fulfill orders.
- Even before the pandemic, automated food preparation services and robotic vending machines were becoming increasingly popular.
- White Castle, for example, added an automated ordering system to a location in Merrillville, Ind., which is also equipped with Miso Robotics' burger-grilling and fry-cooking robotic system. The AI voice system makes food suggestions and will eventually consider the time of day and weather in those recommendations.
- More fast-food chains, like McDonald's, are turning to AI technologies to speed up orders. This ranges from Alexa-style voice ordering to smart menu boards, license plate recognition, and automated payment systems, some of which use facial recognition to authenticate orders.
"Humans sometimes forget to greet people, they forget, they make mistakes, they don't hear as well. A machine can actually have a consistent greeting and remain calm under pressure." - Lucy Brady, McDonald's chief digital customer engagement officer.
- DoorDash recently acquired Chowbotics, a robotics startup that developed a salad-making robot called Sally. DoorDash says Chowbotics' tech will help improve its logistics platform, merchant offerings, and customer access to meals.
- Chowbotics debuted its Sally robot in 2018, followed by version 2.0 a year later, which added wheels for better mobility. In October, it began letting users order its meals – which includes salads, as well as poke, yogurt, and brisket bowls – via an app ahead of time.
- A RoboCafe in Dubai is using AI technologies and robotic arms to fulfill customer orders. Developed with support from the local government's AI initiative, the fully autonomous cafe opened recently in Dubai's Festival City Mall.
- Clients order from touch screens and AI-powered robotic arms then fulfill the orders, which include tea, coffee, and snacks, and place them on top of roving service bots to deliver them to customers: