Picnic robot focuses on quantity without abandoning quality pizzas

Picnic unveiled their pizza-making robot to attendees at this week's Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle. It is different than the pizza robots used by Zume and PAZZI.

Looking more like an oven, the Picnic robot has no articulating arms, but is made up of a series of modular, customizable food dispensers. With pizza, an empty crust (frozen or handmade) is loaded into the machine where computer vision determines what size it is. When an order comes in, the crust moves onto a conveyor system which dispenses the sauce, cheese and toppings as the crust passes underneath. Once topped, the pies are moved by a human into a pizza oven (Picnic believes pizza ovens are already good and didn’t need to be roboticized).

Picnic is in the Robotics as a Service business as the company doesn’t charge clients for the robot, but rather works with each of its clients to create a customized monthly fee based on how many modules are needed, usage, etc.

Picnic’s robot can make 180, 18-inch or 300, 12-inch pizzas per hour. Because it is modular, the number of ingredients can be added or customized by placing another dispenser module in the lineup. As part of today’s announcement, Picnic also revealed two of its first customers: Centerplate, an event hospitality company with more than 200 locations at sports and entertainment venues, and Zaucer pizza, a Washington state pizza company. Centerplate has been using the Picnic robot for pizzas at T-Mobile Park in Picnic’s hometown of Seattle.

SKS2019 attendees seemed to like the results. In total, about 75 pies were gobbled up on Monday night.