Chipotle Gets To Work on Another Robot

The equipment prototype, now in testing at the Chipotle Cultivate Center, looks to save time and improve product yield.

Chipotle Autocado
Chipotle is testing a collaborative robot prototype to help reduce guacamole prep time, which it identified as a pain point for employees. Courtesy of Chipotle.

First, it was the chips—and now, the guac.

Less than a year after giving its tortilla chip-making robot the thumbs up, Chipotle is testing another robotic solution.

The brand’s new “cobotic” (collaborative robot) prototype could ultimately reduce guacamole prep time by 50%, says Chipotle.

“Chipotle currently has individuals dedicated to cutting, coring and scooping avocados,” a press release details. “On average, it takes approximately 50 minutes to make a batch of guacamole.”

The new unit, currently being tested at the Chipotle Cultivate Center in Irvine, Calif., is designed to cut, core and peel avocados to get them prepped for hand-mashing by team members.

Chipotle says the cobot can hold up to 25 lb. of avocados at once, and will process them one-by-one. Waste is discarded, and the usable portions of fruit are halved and dispensed into a stainless bowl at the bottom of the device.

“Precision processing” also aims to improve food sustainability, the brand says, “which could lead to millions of dollars in annual food cost savings if the cobot is successfully developed and deployed widely.”

Chipotle also will invest in the robot’s creator through its Cultivate Next fund.



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