Dexai Robotics, a provider of intelligent robotics solutions for commercial kitchens, has installed its automated food preparation robot, Alfred, at Boston Mediterranean restaurant, Bonapita.
The robot will be preparing salads and bowls at Bonapita’s West Roxbury location, at 75 Spring Street, West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
The announcement comes on the heels of a high-profile collaboration between Dexai and the Department of Defense, which will see 10 Alfred robots installed in multiple US military bases across the country.
Alfred is part of a new generation of “smart” robots, whose use of artificial intelligence allows them to continuously learn, adapt, and improve performance in the field.
Since this is Alfred’s first job at a Mediterranean restaurant, the robot is adapting its behavior and learning from Chef Ilan Barniv to make his delicious recipes. Over time, Alfred will continue to learn, becoming faster and more precise in this role, and even learning new tasks in chef Ilan’s kitchen.
Interestingly, the progress made by one Alfred robot is shared across every other unit, in both existing and future deployments – a feature that’s particularly advantageous in the restaurant industry, where high turnover rates force employees to learn various tasks to alleviate the dramatic labor shortage.
According to Dexai CEO David Johnson, the company’s diverse customer base is made possible largely due to their progressive robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) business model, in which customers are only charged a flat fee for each dish the robot prepares.
Johnson says: “Robots have come a long way from the days of massive, multi-million-dollar machines, and complex, purpose-built installations.
“Not only is Alfred compact and easy to install, but also the cost scales with your business. And while our operating model makes Alfred more accessible financially, our use of advanced AI and computer vision make the robot highly adaptable.
“So, Alfred is able to work in practically any commercial kitchen, and adapts to your existing menu, even if that changes seasonally.”
Dexai Robotics was founded in 2018 as a spin-out from The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA and is now headquartered in nearby Boston, Massachusetts.
Alfred, its flagship robotic offering, was designed to improve operating efficiencies and alleviate pressing labor shortages affecting the food industry. Moreover, Alfred ensures the consistency of prepared foods, reduces food waste, and reduces the transmission of food-borne pathogens.
Bonapita owner Ilan Barniv says: ”We’re very excited to have Alfred in our kitchen.
“We had to find alternative solutions following 2-plus years of extreme employee shortages. The installation was quick, and it’s very easy to use. We didn’t have to remodel or change the layout of the kitchen. And most importantly, we didn’t have to alter our menu.
“This is what the future of food service looks like. Soon, we’ll see intelligent machines like Alfred integrated throughout the kitchen environment, performing a wide variety of tasks and functions. By using a robot, we free up our employees to focus on the customer experience, orchestrating a consistently delicious dining experience that customers can trust and love.”
Bonapita’s West Roxbury location, at 75 Spring Street, is now open to the public. Customers can see Alfred in action from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday-Saturday.