The Autocado avocado-processing robot reduces prep time and frees up staff

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

July 13, 2023

2 Min Read
Chipotle

Chipotle has unveiled its new food prep robot, Autocado, designed to cut, core and peel avocados used in the chain’s guacamole.

According to the restaurant, the new robot can reduce prep time for its guacamole by as much as 50%, and free up its staff to perform other duties.

The restaurant stressed, however, that the machine is not intended to replace its work staff, with Curt Garner, Chipotle chief customer and technology officer, saying the process still requires the 

“essential culinary experience of hand mashing and hand preparing the guacamole to our exacting standards.”

Developed alongside robotics startup Vebu, the robot is reportedly intended to be the first of several collaborative robots (cobots) to be introduced at the restaurant to drive efficiencies, in the face of ongoing workforce shortages and high labor costs. 

Chipotle also announced that its venture arm, Cultivate Next, is investing in Vebu, though financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are committed to exploring collaborative robotics to drive efficiencies and ease pain points for our employees,” said Garner. 

“Our purpose as a robotic company is to leverage automation technology to give workers more flexibility in their day-to-day work,” said Buck Jordan, Vebu CEO. “Autocado has the potential to work alongside Chipotle crew members to create the same, delicious guacamole that Chipotle fans love but more efficiently than ever before.” 

Ultimately, Cebu said it plans to add machine learning capabilities and sensors to Autocado to allow it to assess the avocados loaded in and determine their quality.

The Autocado prototype is currently being tested at the Chipotle Cultivate Center in Irvine, California. 

Autocado is not the first robot to be tested by Chipotle. Last year the chain deployed an autonomous chip-maker dubbed Chippy.

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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