U.S. startup To expand its robotic barista concept across the US, Artly has received $8.3 million.
Artly, a company founded in Seattle in 2020, claims that its technology will make gourmet coffee more widely and affordably available.
The business presently has five sites in Seattle, California, and Oregon, as well as one inside a MUJI store, a Japanese retailer.
According to Artly, their technology lessens the need for human personnel in coffee shops, a potentially alluring claim for business owners struggling with the pandemic’s worsening shortage of hospitality professionals.
The company admits that the use of robots at its coffee shops reduces the need for human labor, but Artly claims that its technology empowers baristas by allowing them to manage operations and concentrate more on the customer experience.
“At Artly, we’re working on a robotic platform that will conserve and democratize the creativity of artisans in the food and beverage sector. Our robots can now adapt to new settings and complete complicated and ambiguous tasks with the aid of cutting-edge AI technologies like imitation learning and vision-language generative models. Now a far larger audience may take pleasure in a great barista’s work,” says Meng Wang, CEO of Artly.
Although the idea of a robotic barista is not new, only a few businesses have expanded the business successfully. Two robotic coffee bars are run by the US-based Cafe X in the San Francisco Airport, and in February 2022, a bar opened at the Museum of the Future in Dubai.
In 2020, Costa Coffee introduced its BaristaBot brand after purchasing US digital coffee kiosk business Briggo. Customers can place an order in advance through an app, and the machines can produce up to 100 coffees each hour.
To accommodate the rising demand for the idea, Singaporean technology company Crown Digital declared in June 2022 that it will mass-produce ELLA, a completely autonomous robotic barista, this year. The robot has been tested at business offices and is currently located at the Tokyo and Yokohama Stations in Japan.
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