On the other hand, implementation of two members of AUTEC’s family of sushi robots at the Sushi-Rama restaurant chain in the Denver area reportedly went off without a hitch. Jeff Osaka, chef and owner of the five restaurants and his team of about 20 human employees have been working with the Maki Maker and Nigiri Maker robots for the past three and a half years.
In contrast to mobile robots, AUTEC’s restaurant robots are stationary. They sit where they are on a conveyor belt, uncomplainingly carrying out their preprogrammed assignments alongside people.
“The robots create a consistent product where human error could otherwise occur, whether due to lack of skill or the fatigue that can set in when the restaurant is very busy,” according to Osaka.
“We top the rice balls with slices of fish for nigiri and apply nori to the sheets of rice, which we can fill with our own custom ingredients. We truly have nothing but great things to say about working with our sushi robots. They don’t call in sick or take long coffee breaks. You could say they are model employees,” attests the chef.
Communications between the human workers and the sushi robots are rather limited, though, he acknowledges. “Most of our communication is simply to give them ‘life.’ We just power them on.”