Karakuri announced today that its Semblr food-service robot is being deployed at the headquarters of British online grocery Ocado. Karakuri is partnering with Ocado (who holds a minority investment in Karakuri) and Atalian Servest, a facilities management services company to feed up to four thousand employees at Ocado headquarters in the company’s canteen.
“We are committed to making their vision a reality and that is why our investment in Karakuri goes beyond financial support and sees us opening up our canteen as a living lab for their testing. Plus we get to give our staff an experience of what the future holds for food service,” said Stewart Macguire, Head-Corporate Development at Ocado Group, in the release.
The Semblr 1 (formerly known as the DK-One) is a 2m x 2m kiosk that assembles various cold and hot ingredients into prepared meals. Like many new generation fast-prep food assembly robots, the Semblr doesn’t cook the food, but instead holds it at a proper temperature in up to 14 enclosed serving chambers and assembles a meal based on a customer’s personalized order. For the Ocado deployment, the Semblr will make Asian fusion bowls and will have 17 different ingredients from which employees can choose. The Semblr can make up to 110 meals per hour, and can make up to 4 meals concurrently
The deployment of a fast-assembly machine like the Semblr (formerly known as the DK-One) makes lots of sense for a corporate cafeteria. Because ingredients are prepped in advance, a corporate catering management company like Angel Hill can restock the machine throughout the day. In addition, the rapid pace of the robot (about 30 seconds per meal) means it can feed a lot of employees in a short amount of time.
“Putting our robot in action in a busy dining room for the first time marks a huge milestone for everybody at Karakuri,” said Karakuri CEO Barney Wragg. “We’ve come a long way in two years and our mission remains the same – to develop robots that support the hospitality and catering industry and improve the experience for both hospitality operators and customers.
You can see a video of the DK-One in action below.