Though robotics and artificial intelligence have been used extensively in the military, research and finance sectors, it seems that they have finally found exactly where they need to be. In the most important sector of all to humanity as a whole.
The sector of delicious pizza.
Silicon Valley start-up Zume, founded in 2015, is using robots and A.I to make pizza faster and more efficiently. It has been so successful that it is already expanding its delivery radius and taking on more staff such as a robot that can shape dough into a pizza base five times faster than a human can. Not only that, but it can do it perfectly every time!
The key to their success is that the robots and A.I are not just a gimmick but an incredibly useful tool. Delivery times are very short due to the pizza being prepared efficiently and there are few complaints from customers due to the perfection of the pizza each time. No low-morale employee just trying to get the shift finished with, no hairs in the food, no sparse application of ingredients. Just fast, easy, high-quality pizza which is of no extra cost to the end-user.
High-speed pizza making
The kitchen can put out 372 pizzas per hour (or pp/hr, which is a measurement I have literally just invented) and at 372 pp/hr, its kitchens resemble something out of a computer chip manufacture plant. High-tech machinery is everywhere and there is not a traditional oven in sight.
The main pizza-making machine was a coming together or minds from all areas of tech. Ex-Zynga execs teamed up with ABB Robotics to invent, produce and use a pizza-making machine that looks like it builds nuclear warheads or tiny nano-robots.
Robots all the way
Online orders via the Zume Pizza app are sent to the robotic conveyor belt which then begins the procedure. Dough is pressed into a perfect circle in seconds, with sauce being evenly distributed in amounts which match the customer’s exact specification. At the end of the conveyor belt a human could pick it up and place it in the oven, but this is Silicon Valley and for that reason alone the robotic arm named Vincenzo places each pizza into the oven for the precise amount of time necessary for the perfect product. Even the slicing is done robotically so that every slice is perfectly proportioned according to mathematical standards.
Almost as if they are just being sarcastic at this point, the pizza is shipped in an environmentally friendly box with a specifically engineered base plate which drains grease away and lets it pool into little depressions in the box so that it doesn’t make the pizza soggy on its way to the customer.
Because of this automated process, Zume can afford to drastically undercut more traditional competition. Their prices come out at almost half of that which Dominos and Pizza Hut charge, with no tips to take care of either. Zume is a no-tipping business, as this is already included in the price as well.
AI knows you better
The data generated by orders is not wasted either. The A.I learns what people usually order and when, and makes sure that those pizzas are available on that day of the week. For example if there is usually a spike in orders on the night when Game of Thrones is on, it will know to anticipate more orders and so will partly-bake some ready to go at a moment’s notice. Once the families in the area start getting together and making their orders before the show starts, the pizzas are already nearly done. This results in super-fast delivery which is second-to-none.
This is notable because for the first time, robotics is making a major impact in front-end businesses. Where they had previously been used in factories owned by major corporations and used to take part in the corporate robotics ‘arms race’, they are now being used by smaller start-ups in an effort to take on the traditional food delivery giants.
This is the start of a revolution in food delivery and there is only one guarantee – Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, and more will not be very far behind. They will have taken notice, and similar ideas to Zume will already be floating around executive offices the world over.
At least when the robot revolution comes, it will come bearing gifts of pizza.
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