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Pizza robot gets Vegas gig after boosting caterer’s kitchen operations

Picnic automated food assembly system

A pizza robot will be deployed to keep attendees to one of the world’s largest technology conventions well-fed, it has been announced.

Seattle-based Picnic, which specialises in food production technology and Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS), has been appointed by caterer Centerplate to serve visitors at the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Centerplate will use and showcase Picnic’s robot, which is capable of producing up to 300 12-inch customized pizzas an hour, on the CES show floor during all four days of the January show.

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It has already trialled the automated food assembly system at its T-Mobile Park location, home of the Seattle Mariners.

“Picnic’s automated food assembly platform has shown an ability to enhance quality and speed of service for our kitchen operations,” said Steve Pangburn, CEO of Centerplate.

“Our initial pilot with Picnic was very positive and their differentiated capabilities are proving beneficial. We look forward to introducing Picnic to the Las Vegas Convention Center in January and helping them scale their technology in an effective way.”

The Picnic platform is initially focused on the production of high-volume, customizable pizzas. However, the company insists the technology is applicable to other food categories.

Many US and international foodservice providers are recognizing that Picnic’s platform offers unique capabilities to address common kitchen challenges and pain points.

As part of the system’s intelligence, deep learning AI technology continually learns and helps to meet the changing needs of all types of food service operators, keeping them more competitive and protecting their brands.

Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic, said: “Picnic’s distinct culmination of food production customization and throughput, smart data and cloud analytics is quickly resonating with foodservice operators. Our continued relationship with Centerplate illustrates our ability to tailor our offerings to the specific needs of our partners and jointly transform the food experience for their consumers.

“This is one robot that won’t be a CES exhibitor only showing futuristic concepts; it is already in use in real-world kitchen settings and will only continue to grow its capabilities, as will be seen through Picnic’s delivery of mass customization food production and great-tasting pizza provided to CES attendees.”

Mr Wood said that Picnic continues to experience increasing interest in its technology from a broad spectrum of operators, including large chains and ‘mom and pop’ storefronts, as well as virtual restaurants and ghost kitchens.

The compact, freestanding system integrates Picnic’s issued US patent and other US and international patent-pending modular, configurable equipment, with its software, cloud and deep learning technology.

The platform only requires a small footprint and the modular, configurable equipment makes it flexible to slip into a wide array of stationary and mobile kitchen formats.

Vivid Robotics, Inc., which owns the Picnic brand, was founded in 2016.

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Sam Lewis

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