Pizza-Making Robot Patented by Little Caesar’s

Automation is making tasks easier for a growing number of businesses around the world. Most people are no longer surprised to hear about robots helping fulfill orders in warehouses, but now they are starting to turn up in some unexpected places. Case in point: restaurants.

Domino’s has been using autonomous vehicles to deliver pizzas, while California’s Zume Pizza has been using robots and custom trucks to prepare and cook pizzas while en route to the consumer’s doorstep. Pizza Hut collaborated with Toyota to create a self-driving pizza delivery car, while Domino’s recently added a delivery drone to the chain’s line of concept delivery vehicles.

Now, low-cost pizza chain Little Caesars has been granted a patent for a robot that assembles pizza. The machine contains an articulated robotic arm that lifts dough trays and moves them around as mechinanic arms spread the sauce, cheese, and toppings a person has requested. A rotary dial ensures that the cheese and other toppings have been distributed evenly.

Once it’s all set, the arm places the pizza right into the oven. After it has cooked, experts who have seen the patents believe that the robot can hand off the pizza to a person who can put it in a buffet or box it up for delivery. Such a robot could help the chain improve efficiency and ensure more consistent quality at greater speeds.

Robots’ Growing Presence in Restaurants

It’s not just pizza restaurants that are hopping onboard this trend. McDonald’s has been using AI and checkout kiosks in order to free up their staff to work on other tasks, while CaliBurger has been using a robot named Flippy to flip its burgers on the grill.

As the prices of robots continue to fall, we are likely to see even more robots being used in back-of-house restaurant operations. For chains, it’s about far more than just the publicity these moves attract; the industry is about to undergo a major transformation thanks to robotics.

This blog post was based off of an article from ZD Net. View the original here.

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