Robots entered the food industry to assist primarily in food manufacturing and packaging. Keeping in mind the hygiene and accuracy factor, they have proved to be ideal for this industry. Many germophobes actually prefer robots over humans to handle their food. With that being said, the robots are now becoming an integral part of the restaurant businesses while taking on roles as waiters and servers.
Be it the fear of COVID-19 pandemic or the advancement in technology, the robots are now more advanced and interactive. A startup company in China, Yushanfang Cooking Robot Tech, founded in 2018 has developed robots capable of cooking meals. These robots are usually utilized by fast food restaurants and have the capacity of cooking one dish at a time based on the order.
These robots are developed to finish preparing a dish in 1.8 minutes on an average. They are also programmed to cook over seven hundred different types of dishes. The robots are also equipped with multi tasking abilities, preparing four dishes in two minutes simultaneously while also seasoning them precisely.
The company now aims at developing 24 hours daily operation for its robots. These will be functional mainly near business offices and convenience stores. Over the period of time, the company plans to develop a system capable of predicting customers preferences based on their purchase history and also recommend dishes based on it. Also the updates will allow customers to customize orders based on their choices.
Nowadays, the robots are not only cooking and serving the food but also delivering it. Yandex Eats, a delivery company in Moscow has announced to launch robots which can deliver restaurant food and groceries to the doorstep. The user can track the location and status on the app. Yandex Eats is a major food and grocery delivery app in Russia with more than 300,000 merchants affiliated with it from 166 cities.
Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex Self-Driving Group said, “In the last few years we’ve been seeing a constant growth in demand for delivery services and the events of 2020 have only advanced this trend. This is why now we have robots coming to people’s rescue. They will take on part of the delivery load which will allow us to retain delivery speed as the demand for our services grows. Rovers can deliver restaurant meals, groceries, orders from online stores and will slowly but steadily become a normal part of city life.”
One of the main reasons why robots are getting more and more involved in food industry is better quality control, maintenance of hygiene and accuracy. Such automated units were proven to be very resourceful during Covid and post Covid era. With the involvement of Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots in the restaurant kitchens can function seamlessly. They can be used to reduce injuries in the workplace and can be utilized to boost efficiency. Many industries are now seeing robots as an investment, which can be costly initially but will prove to be fruitful in the long run.
Speaking about the condition in India, it has been speculated that robots for delivery of food and groceries and cooking food might not get normalized as yet. The traffic might prove to be challenge for the robots but the tech companies are speculated to begin using them among controlled crowds.