The Penny by Bear Robotics has been named as one of The National Restaurant Association’s top 25 Kitchen Innovations for 2019.
Winning recipients will have addressed operator concerns covering labor, inventory management, cleanliness, energy and water efficiency, food safety, sanitation, cross-
Penny is a foodservice robot with artificial intelligence that drives autonomously which has been designed to maneuver in tight, crowded quarters.
Penny shuttles food from the kitchen to tables and brings dishes back for cleaning, the unit optimizes tray shape, suspension and other features for foodservice needs.
John Ha, co-founder at Bear Robotics, said: “Imagine walking or running five to seven miles a day juggling multiple trays of food and drinks in a narrow and crowded environment.
“A light bulb finally flashed over me when I was knee-deep in this. I said to myself, there has got to be a better way to run these establishments. Why not automate it?”
Looking ahead, Bear Robotics plans to construct Penny 2 with an upgraded design and tablet to communicate with customers and take orders.
Ha added: “Our view is that the future of the foodservice industry will leverage robotics and artificial intelligence to perform basic tasks alongside human workers.
“This should free up human workers to create value for restaurants in new ways.”