Robots can pour you a coffee, cook your dinner, and your dessert. However, just because robots make the food doesn’t mean that it hasn’t human- work to be done.
At Creator, for example, the robot isn’t the point. The point is what the robot allows the restaurant to do—things that are potentially industry-shaking. This precise culinary tool can do what humans can’t: determine the ideal grill time of each patty, grind the meat in a way that humans can’t. The Creator is using robotics not to replicate and replace human labor, but to enable a number of human-friendly goals including: serving fully customizable meals and the freshest food possible (meat is ground, seasoned and cooked to order); creating less menial jobs for humans; and diverting operating budget towards better ingredients with the hope of making quality food more accessible and democratic. In a delicious reversal, it is using robots to put the emphasis back on hospitality and the human.
“Our approach is, we want to be shepherds around how technology and humans interact. We designed Creator for people to experience automation positively,” explains Culinary Lead and Experience Designer David Bordow, a mechanical engineer who worked in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and studied product design at Stanford University.”
Before a customer walks in the door, humans are visible through Creator’s glazed storefront facilitating machines and advising guests. So, while there are humans behind a counter, taking out the trash and manning the fryer, most of them are on the dining room floor.
And you? What do you think about robots making food?