automation - as a solution to tasks that are
dull, dangerous, or potentially unhygienic.
Many people find cooking relaxing, but for
those who cook for a living, flipping burgers
behind a hot grill for example, automation
could free up time to do more valuable tasks.
With staff spending more time providing
service and strengthening customer
relationships, business is more likely to be
successful thanks to happy customers. Also,
incorporating technology can enable
restaurants to produce food in a consistent and
much more cost-effective, thus sustainable,
way. Staff can then spend more time providing
service and strengthening relationships with
customers - focusing on retaining 'regulars'
and turning new customers into returning ones.
With the costs of robots and semiconductors
dropping, this will finally be possible. ARK
Investment Management, a researcher in this
market, says that industrial robot costs are
expected to drop a solid 65 percent by 2025.
AUTOMATION BRINGS FOOD CLOSER TO
Perhaps we may not be helping to flip burgers
or prepare Michelin-starred spaghetti in the
near future, but we can help bring fresh food
closer to customers. We believe we can achieve
this through the concept of urban logistics,
which endorses solutions such as microfulfillment centers.
McKinsey proves that 60 percent of Europeans
have tried a new shopping behavior and most
of them will stick to it beyond the pandemic.
We are definitely facing a paradigm shift, as a
striking number of consumers (54 percent) in a
survey conducted by Deloitte say they feel
stressed while shopping in stores. Some
customers vocalize the frustration associated
Technology will join forces with biology in
evolution - that was one of the main
messages of Stanislaw Lem's book, Summa
Technologiae, published in 1964. The author
shared how likely it is these technologies will
come to be and how they will make life easier
in the long run. And here we are, almost sixty
years later, in a reality that delivers robots for
many applications beyond industrial
production - a key example is food.
Indeed, we are seeing a rising need for
automation for the production and delivery of
food. Market research forecasts that food
robotics will bolster the industry's annual
growth rate by 13 percent by 2026. But this
isn't the only reason to invest. The cost of
time and convenience is a concern for most
businesses, as is the need for healthier, faster,
safer and high-quality production. With a
growing demand for packaged food created
in a clean environment, the race is on to
develop methods to deliver this vision.
THE RISE OF NON-FACTORY ROBOTICS
Imagine driving through fields of corn on a
sunny day - you spot a tractor on the
horizon, harvesting the fields. Suddenly, you
realize there is no one in the driver's seat.
Instead, the farmer is sitting in his cozy
control room nearby or in an urban area,
managing the army of planting and
harvesting machines remotely. As automation
helps people, we are edging closer to a future
where robots are the new farmers.
The market for agricultural robots will be
worth 12 billion USD by 2021. Between 2017
and 2022, the market is expected to grow at
a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of an
impressive 20.71 percent. We might be
tempted to think - is it necessary to
automate farms? Well, statistics ruthlessly
indicate that the current average age of
farmers in the USA is 57.5 years old, in the
UK 59, in Kenya 60 and in Japan 67. The
remaining question is: who is going to feed
us when they retire?
The pressure on agriculture will push the
industry to invest even more in robotics.
Customers are placing ever-greater demands
on the appearance and quality of food.
Consumers pay attention not only to
perfectly round potatoes (which of course
sell better than irregular-shaped ones), but
they will put pressure on producers to
provide more sustainable food produced with
limited impact on the environment. By
applying robotics earlier in the chain, we
have a chance to make food production
more accurate and efficient without the use
FOOD SERVICE REVOLUTION
Robotics and automation have even entered
the dining sector. This trend was already
reflected in IFR statistics showing that
professional service robots increased 32
percent to 11.2 billion USD between 2018
and 2019. Add to this the recent challenges
of the coronavirus crisis and we begin to
realize how severely the hospitality sector
was hit by it. Automation provides food
service and hospitality businesses with relief
and customers with the assurance that their
food is prepared in a safe and hygienic
manner. Whether it is Blendid, Chowbotics,
Moley, Creator, Miso Robotics or Beastro
dark kitchen aid, the trend in proliferating
food preparation automation is based on the
notion that people not only need food, they
also need their food to be provided in a
clean manner. This is another use case for
HOW AUTOMATION CAN NURTURE HUMANITY