Smoothie-making robot arrives: cool technology or job killer?

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Smoothie-making robot arrives on the USF campus: cool technology or job killer?

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Silicon Valley is automating the food world with artificial intelligence. This week, a startup called Blendid, launched a smoothie-making robot on the University of San Francisco’s campus.

Jain says Blendid’s ‘Chef B’ is a franchise business model. He says one kiosk costs $70,000 and calculates that after selling smoothies at $6 each with a $1.50 to $2.00 profit, the franchise owner would recoup the startup cost in 9 to 11 months. Of course that model hasn’t been tested. So far, Jain and his team are still working out kinks in their system after two days of operating with a hungry group of student customers.

Jain says ‘Chef B’ can blend 35 to 45 smoothies per hour with a robot arm that dispenses ingredients, washes blenders, and pours smoothies into cups, which it then pushes across a counter to a window, where it’s ready for pick-up. Customers can place their orders through an app and pick up immediately or at a scheduled time.

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