Pizza chef robot to debut in France

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The cobots learned to replicate the movements of a pizza chef
The cobots learned to replicate the movements of a pizza chef
A robotic pizza chef has been commissioned by French start-up Ekim from Universal Robots.

Pazzi is capable of preparing up to 10 pizzas simultaneously from nearly five million recipe combinations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It has three robot arms visible to the public. They are able to cut and flatten the dough, place the selected ingredients, bake, cut, and package the pizzas.

Ekim aimed to use this project to offer catering in high-traffic areas such as railway stations and shopping centres.

Pazzi will be marketed by Ekim as a “tech good food”​ concept, providing quality pizza based on healthy and natural ingredients.

Launching in France next year

Ekim said it planned to launch the new turnkey concept of franchised or licensed catering in 2019 after a pilot, which should be launched in France by early 2019.

Sysaxes, one of Universal Robots’ distributors in France, has supported Ekim from the outset by supplying the complete collaborative-robot (cobot) application, including grippers and accessories certified to work with the Universal Robots.

Alongside the Ekim team and chef Thierry Graffagnino, a three-time world pizza champion, the cobots learned to replicate the movements of a pizza chef.

Together with our distributor, we have been supporting Ekim on the project since 2013,” said ​said Jacob Pascual-Pape, regional sales director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa​ at Universal Robots.

‘This culinary spectacle’

“The main difficulty experienced, during the design of this culinary spectacle, was the harsh conditions to which the robots were exposed in such a restricted environment.”

“Universal Robots was originally launched after researching the Danish food industry,” ​said Esben Østergaard, chief technology officer and co-founder of Universal Robots. So, we tried to arrange pepperoni on pizzas with a traditional industrial robot.”

“We quickly noticed that the robot was too big and clumsy to meet the needs of food companies. This is how the idea of Universal Robots and cobots was born.”

More than 5,000 hours and 6,000 components were needed to design the systems that make up the autonomous pizza restaurant.

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