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Smoothie-making robots are here to steal your Jamba Juice job

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned, all-natural fruit smoothie. If you want to make things a bit more high tech and, well, less natural, however, you might want to check out California startup Blendid. While its smoothies are just as packed with natural ingredients as any you’d find elsewhere, its means of preparing them — using a robot — is a whole lot more cutting edge. The company’s one-armed autonomous robot is capable of making its blended fruit drinks at an impressively fast rate. In doing so, it hopes to be able to deliver custom smoothies to customers without the same time spent lining up that they might be used to.

“The consumer’s experience is completely digital,” Vipin Jain, co-founder and CEO of Blendid, told Digital Trends. “Consumers use their mobile app or tablets at the kiosk to look at the menu for the day, pick an item, customize the item for their taste, and [then] place or schedule an order. Chef B, the kiosk’s robot, follows the recipe with the consumer’s customizations, prepares the requested delicious blend, and delivers it to the customer in under three minutes or when it is scheduled to be prepared.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered robot food preparations. Recently, we’ve written about everything from cocktail-mixing robo-bartenders and baristas to Starship Technologies’ robot takeout deliveries on campus. While, short term, the appeal is likely to be in the novelty of these offerings (who wouldn’t want their morning coffee given to them by a robot?), in the longer term this could provide customers with faster, more customized service. Even if it could mean the displacement of people currently working in the food services industry.

“Blendid just went live at its first commercial location at the University of San Francisco on March 25,” Jain continued. “You can expect us to open up more locations at various companies and colleges in the coming months. We foresee Blendid kiosks to be available everywhere, and are encouraged by this initial surge of excitement and support all around. Blendid brings a perfect blend of fresh and healthy ingredients, delicious and affordable recipes, intrigue of the advanced technology, and convenience — which makes it a perfect fit in corporate cafeterias, universities, health clubs, airports, and more.”

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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