The robotics industry is having a big moment amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is true that the category has been an exciting destination for investment for a number of years, but labor problems and transfer concerns have led many sectors to look deeply into automation.
Meal preparation is a primary goal. It is an essential service where human hands are directly satisfied with food. DaVinci Kitchen, based in Leipzig, Germany, wants to solve food preparation problems with the introduction of a modular robotic kiosk that prepares pasta dishes with an Italian theme.
In 2018, German incubator 2b AHEAD Ventures put together the team that would become DaVinci to address concerns about labor shortages in the food preparation industry.
The first batch of robots will focus on pasta – a relatively easy-to-prepare dish with universal appeal. According to Elfaramawy, the machine makes the noodles, cooks and serves everything in about six minutes. It can prepare two dishes at the same time and cleans the dishes in about 20-30 seconds.
The system is modular so that the machine can possibly be equipped to prepare other foods, including salads, or to prepare other noodle themes, for example to swap the Italian style for an Asian dish.
So far, the small company, courtesy of 2b AHEAD and Rheine-based frozen food company Apetito, which is also one of DaVinci’s first customers, has raised around $ 780,000 in a start-up round. The startup is also in the process of raising a Series A with a goal of $ 1.7 million. The first kiosks are expected to ship in late 2020 or early 2021, depending on the impact of COVID-19 on the company’s supply chains. The first batch consists of 10 machines.
The company is targeting restaurants and food courts that the robots can buy or lease.