It’s getting easier and easier to imagine a future in which robots are making all our food. The future is one step closer now that Picnic, a Seattle-based startup, has raised $5 million in seed money to continue piloting its pizza-making robot that is capable of producing 300 pizzas per hour. It previously made its debut at T-Mobile Park in Seattle last summer, feeding hungry Mariners fans.
Alas, the pizza robot doesn’t appear capable of tossing and stretching and flipping the dough like a seasoned human pizzaiolo. Instead, ready-made pizza dough trundles along on a conveyor belt while mechanical arms dispense sauce, cheese, and other toppings assembly-line style.
A spokesman for Creative Ventures, which sponsors Picnic, claims this new technology will be instrumental in combating the upcoming worldwide kitchen labor shortage. The robot can be customized to produce just about any recipe.
James Thorne, who reported on the funding for GeekWire, had the chance to taste one of the Picnic-produced pizzas. “[I] thought it tasted like a pizza from a baseball stadium — tasty and filling, but not gourmet,” he writes. “The crust was pre-frozen and it was baked in an electric oven, so my expectations were low.”
Well, no one ever said the food of the future would be good.