By: Nick Gambino
I consider myself somewhat of a pizza connoisseur. And when I say “connoisseur” I mean one who stuffs his face endlessly until he feels like he can’t do anything but throw up.
So when I heard about pizza-making robots out on the West Coast I almost lost my lunch (which was pizza by the way).
Operating out of Zume Pizza in Mountain View, California, two robots have been hard at work cranking out our favorite circular-shaped food.
Marta and Bruno as they’re called don’t work without human assistance though. The process starts with a human rolling out the pizza dough and slapping it on a conveyor belt. Marta then covers it in tomato sauce, smearing evenly of course.
Another human on the assembly line adds the toppings before it heads off to Bruno who puts the mostly done pizza in the oven for its final voyage before it becomes that delicious oh-so-good delicacy (obsess much, Nick?).
Now, Zume only serves the Mountain View area for the time being but that doesn’t mean co-founder and once-president of Zynga Studios, Alex Garden, doesn’t have grand plans.
“We are going to be the Amazon of food,” Garden declares to Bloomberg. His plan is to disrupt the whole pizza making industry by removing a large part of the labor involved.
“Just imagine Domino’s without the labor component. You can start to see how incredibly profitable that can be.”
Profitable, yes. Morally gray, certainly. Here’s a little exercise. Drive 10 minutes out in any direction and try and count how many pizza shops you spot. Odds are you’ll probably see a few. Now imagine for a moment that most of those flipping pizza for minimum wage lost their job to some robot named Marta.
And let’s be honest no matter how good that robot is, there’s something about a properly made pizza by human hands that you just can’t beat.
I’ll tell ya, my father used to work at Goodfellas Pizza in Brooklyn back in the day. Being a Gambino he took pride in making those pizzas just right and they were that, “just right.”.
I’m sorry but I’ll take a little human TLC over a pizza made by a sterile robot with just the right computation to make a mathematically accurate pizza.
I’ll admit I haven’t tried one of these robot-made pizzas yet so I can’t be too critical. It’s just the idea of it that irks me.
Well, it’s definitely a long way off from causing any real stir in the made-to-order pizza industry so no need to worry too much just yet. In the meantime, I’m going to sit back and enjoy this slice made by human, and hopefully washed, hands.
What do you think of the idea of robots making pizza instead of humans? Let us know in the comments below! Or give us a pizza shout out on Twitter.