At this point in time, robot-run restaurants are nothing new: from flipping burgers to frying tortilla chips and preparing French fries, robotic arm assembly lines have been making headlines and taking up space on conference show floors for years now. But Remy Robotics — a Spanish foodservice robotics company — claims to take a new approach to AI-powered restaurants by enlisting robots to accomplish what they’re good at and letting humans take care of the rest.
Remy Robotics just debuted Better Days: a health-focused, fast-fine restaurant in New York City that uses the company’s robotics platform to power the delivery-focused restaurant. The result is a human-free storefront where humans prep the menu off-site and then deliver it to the automated restaurants for robot arms to finish the job in a spin on the hub and spoke operations model. Better Days is just the start of the company’s plans to expand in the United States, with the long-term goal of opening more robot-run eateries throughout North America.
“If you need to produce different types of food and multiple different iterations, robotics is not quite there yet,” Yegor Traiman, founder and CEO of Remy Robotics, said. “The level of robotics is still far away from the dexterity of what humans have… It ends up being much easier [for most companies] to build high-tech vending machines… you won’t see our restaurants chopping, flipping, cutting because the quality of the technology is just not quite there yet.”
So if Remy’s robots won’t flip, cut or chop, then what will they do? Traiman said that even though humans have better dexterity than robots, robots are much better at precision. In this way, they are able to share the tasks between the human prep chefs and robot chefs on-site to produce a working co-bot model.