Vending machine robot makes fresh salad to order
Robots are not only flipping burgers, now they're making salads. Redwood, California-based food robotics company Chowbotics has unveiled Sally the Salad Robot, which uses up to 21 seasonal ingredients to produce individual, bespoke green salads on demand in thousands of combinations in under a minute.
Salads are healthy and refreshing, but they do take a bit of work to assemble properly and the supermarket variety often seem to grow old as soon as the cellophane is put on. Also, many eating establishments don't have the budget to employ proper salad-making crews or offer freshly made salads late at night.
Measuring 31.7 by 33.2 in (80.5 by 84.3 cm), Sally is essentially a smart vending machine. Inside its rounded green, white, and matte black case, it holds a series of patented canisters containing fresh ingredients, including lettuce, chopped onions, tomatoes, and olives, as well as various dressings and toppings.
After a bowl is placed in the dispensing slot, the touch screen interface is used to select either from a menu of signature salads created by Chowbotics Executive Chef Charlie Ayers, or to create custom combinations. Sally then dispenses the ingredients one by one and the salad is ready to eat. It also provides calorie information about each salad.
The only drawback is that the machine does not chop or otherwise prep the ingredients, so the proprietor must do so or order them pre-chopped from a vendor.
Now available for pre-orders with a price of US$30,000, Sally has already been installed at the Galvanize shared workspace in San Francisco and is aimed at cafeterias, restaurants, hotels and other commercial venues.
The video below introduces Sally the Salad Robot.