Meet Sally, the Salad Robot

Chowbotics, a startup offering robots for food service, delivers fresh salads on-demand.

 

What happens when an engineer and an executive chef who worked in Silicon Valley collaborate on the future of food? A robot food service business is born, of course.

Chowbotics, founded in 2014 by Deepak Sekar,uses robots to solve several problems in food service including compromised cleanliness and inefficiency. By offering salads on-demand vs. saladsthat have been sitting around for hours, the fresh salads are safer to eat, as they don’t carry the risk of human contamination.Thistechnology also allows robots to takeover repetitive and tedioustasks, giving food service workers the opportunity toincrease productivity in other areas.

Targeting cafeterias, restaurants and hotels, the company (formerly called Casabots) has introduced its first innovation, Sally the Salad Robot, which provides fully-customized, fresh and healthysalads.Sally’s proprietary technology dispenses measured quantities of up to 21 ingredients–refreshed daily by humans– to create a ready-to-eat meal any time of day. The technology, with several patents pending, is also applicable to other cuisines, such as Mexican and Indian, and respective robots will follow, the company said.

Sally is intuitive and easy to use. Just place a bowl beneath the dispenser, make selections on a touchscreen interface and then Sally's canisters shift to drop each ingredient in, one by one.Charlie Ayers, "the chef who fed Google," is Chowbotics’ executive chef, responsible for creating Sally's signature salads. What’s unique, too, is Sally's patent-pending canister system that protects the integrity of the ingredients by keeping them fresh and sanitary. Precise calorie counts also allow users to build salads that suit their nutritional needs.

Chowbotics is a bit different from other robot food services we’ve covered, but is getting the right attention—from investors—having recently received $5 million of Series A funding from Techstars Ventures, Foundry Group, Galvanize Ventures and the Geekdom Fund.

More in Robotics