The only thing more attention grabbing than the technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas might be the food that keeps attendees fueled at the massive conference. So an idea that combines tech and what to eat might just steal the show.
Picnic, the Seattle startup using automation to disrupt food production, is bringing its pizza-making robot to CES Jan. 7-10. But the smart-pie-producing machine won’t just be another booth or display angling for attention on the Las Vegas Convention Center floor. Picnic is teaming with event hospitality company Centerplate to actually serve food to attendees.
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Picnic’s platform can churn out up to 300 12-inch customized pizzas per hour — sauce, cheese, pepperoni and other topping choices are dropped by conveyor belt onto dough (formed by human hands).
“Picnic’s distinct culmination of food production customization and throughput, smart data and cloud analytics is quickly resonating with food service operators,” Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic, said in a news release on Wednesday. “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.”
Centerplate has already used Picnic tech during a pilot program at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, and the robot is providing all pizzas made during Enchant Christmas, a holiday event taking place at the baseball stadium through the end of the month.
Picnic’s business model is essentially pizza-as-a-service, GeekWire previously reported during a test-run of the tech. Restaurant owners pay a regular fee in return for the system and ongoing maintenance as well as software and hardware updates
The robot has a vision system that allows it to make adjustments if the pie is slightly off-center. It’s also hooked up to the internet and sends data back to Picnic so the system can learn from mistakes.
Hungry CES attendees looking to track down a slice next month should stay tuned to the Picnic website, where specific location details for the robot will be revealed prior to the start of the convention.