The future of robots in the food and beverage industry
Robots have already made a dramatic difference to how food is produced and prepared.
However, their future is now seen as a finishing of one wave and the start of another. It’s generally recognised that robots are no longer seen as a strange oddity in the industry, but as a guarantor of productivity, particularly where hygiene and packing is concerned. This is what’s described as the maturity curve.
Some now feel that we are about to enter a second phase, where robots will take the food and beverage industry onto a new level. This has been driven by the fact that the cost of robotics technology in the sector has dropped by around 40% over the last decade, meaning that it has become a more viable option for a greater number of firms.
The thinking now goes that far more robot types will be used and that they will not be employed to replicate human tasks, but they will be utilised to create new products, where a greater level of artificial intelligence and even imagination will be involved. And the key word here is mobility; a switch from static, large robots, to robots which are more flexible and nimble in nature.
So, expect to see, for example, greater use of cobots (collaborative robots that can work alongside humans), barista robots, chef robots and wearable robots.
Robots are going to play a hugely influential part in the development of the food and beverage industry.