Chipotle revealed on Tuesday that they are experimenting with a cooperative robot designed to enhance the productivity and capacity of human staff for online orders.
With the aid of automated systems, the digital assembly prototype creates bowls and salads. Meanwhile, Chipotle staff manage the primary assembly line for the preparation of burritos, tacos, and quesadillas. The company stated that about 65% of all their digital requests consist of bowls or salads.
The cobot worker progresses the main courses through the lower assembly line, where ingredients for the order are automatically added.
In partnership with Hyphen, Chipotle developed this technology, having invested in the firm via its Cultivate Next venture fund. The robotic assistant is currently being trialed at the Chipotle Cultivate Center in Irvine, California.
"Chipotle's new digital makeline built by Hyphen embodies our commitment to leveraging robotics to unlock the human potential of our workforce, ensuring an elevated dining experience for our guests," commented Curt Garner, the Chief Customer and Technology Officer at Chipotle. "Our goal is to have the automated digital makeline be the centerpiece of all our restaurants’ digital kitchens."
Customers can now place digital orders through the Chipotle app, the official website, or affiliated third-party platforms. If an order contains a burrito bowl or salad, it's directed to the Hyphen system for processing, as indicated by the restaurant.
Once assembled, the burrito bowl or salad rises from the lower assembly line, emerging from an aperture at the top assembly's conclusion. Subsequently, a Chipotle team member caps the dish and appends the finishing touches like chips, salsas on the side, and guacamole.
Finalized orders are allocated to their specific collection points, whether it be in-store shelves, a walk-up window, or the Chipotlane.
In July, Chipotle introduced a novel robot designed to expedite the production of its iconic guacamole. The restaurant developed this cooperative robot, dubbed Autocado, in collaboration with Vebu, a product development company specializing in delivering automated solutions across the entire food supply chain.
The robot is capable of slicing, coring, and peeling avocados, after which they are mashed by hand.
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