Meet Pepe, Giorgio, Marta, Bruno: Zume Pizza's Robot Pizza Chefs
In a time when robots are believed to take over the world and wipe out humanity, are people still willing to eat pizzas made by them?
Zume Pizza seems to believe so.
Mountain View, California's Zume Pizza features a full staff of robot pizza "chefs," each with their own prescribed tasks. The food delivery startup wishes to deliver freshly cooked pizza at your doorstep by finishing the process inside their special trucks and aims to make waves in the $9.7-billion industry.
The spidery Marta is one of the few robots at Zume Pizza in charge of making pizza for customers. She can spread the sauce in pizzas in under two seconds.
This is after her friends Pepe and Giorgio, also robots, squirt sauce on pizza doughs. Meanwhile, the five-foot Bruno places the decorated pizza in an oven after humans sprinkle the pizza with their toppings.
According to Washington Post, these robots are designed not to "make" the pizza perfectly. Marta is programmed not to spread the pizza evenly to give it an artisan appeal. Another robot presses the sauce into the dough inconsistently to give the impression of an actual hand-pressed pizza.
Per Bloomberg, Zume Pizza began as what seems to be a "secretive startup." Its co-founder and executive chairman, Alex Garden, was the former president of Zynga Studios and general manager of Microsoft's Xbox Live.
Garden launched Zume secretly in June and, under a pseudonym, built his patented trucks secretly with a team of engineers. He also recruited 37-year-old Julia Collins, the former vice president and CEO of Harlem Jazz Enterprises, which is the holding company for Minton.
By October, Swiss robotics arm ABB built its set of mechanical pizza chefs and have served perhaps the world's first robot-created pie to a customer in Mountain View.
The robots get to assemble and cook 288 pizzas every hour.
However, this is not the first time companies have been experimenting with robots. Pizza Hut Asia, with the help of Mastercard and Softbank, also developed Pepper. She is an AI cashier that interacts with her customers. Domino's Australia's Dru is an "autonomous delivery vehicle" that can deliver pizza up to six miles.
Sadly, not a lot of people are impressed by the technological strides made by robots in the industry. A lot of people already consider this as yet another move to avoid paying minimum wage to workers.
However, experts such as Ben Mamamoto and Sarah Smith told the Washington Post that there is already an existing problem about minimum wage even before the advent of robot "chefs" and the concept of using robot labor will also increase efficiency in the workplace.