Spyce, a new restaurant in Boston, serves simple and healthy meal bowls – plenty of vegetables, grains, seeds and pulses. It’s the kind of food that’s pretty easy to assemble, so easy in fact, they’ve got robots doing it.
Founded by a group of MIT graduates, Spyce has seven robot chefs working the line. Customers assemble their bowls via a touch screen, place their orders and then the robots get to work, moving portioned ingredients from fridges to woks. Under three minutes later the meals are ready to be garnished and the robots are cleaning their woks with water jets.
The project has gastronomical weight behind it: famed US-based French chef Daniel Boulud is the restaurant’s culinary director. Speaking to The New Yorker, Boulud said he was “super impressed” with the Spyce team on meeting them and wanted to get involved. “I like them … they’re not sort of crazy renegades. They’re clean-cut, they’re intelligent, and they’re passionate about food,” he says.
The restaurant does employ some flesh and blood workers: a guide to help people choose their food, prep cooks, and a chef to garnish the bowls before they’re sent out. “Our restaurant is really efficient because people focus on what people are good at, but the robot handles the high volume tasks — like the cooking and washing — that robots are good at … At the end of the day, our product is not a technology product — it’s an experience and a delicious meal,” co-founder Michael Farid told The Washington Post.
Thus far, robot chefs have been largely relegated to curiosities – think burger flippers and embryonic sushi bots – but it's interesting to now see a big chef get behind the technology. This could be a watershed moment.