Nala Robotics to deploy automated robot ‘chef’ at Slice Factory pizza chain

Robot to prepare pizza, pastas, chicken wings at Chicago-based pizza chain

Nala Robotics’ autonomous robot chef, Pizzaiolaä, is headed to Chicago-based Slice Factory under a new agreement. The technology company focuses on AI applications within the culinary industry. The voice-controlled pizza maker—Pizzaiolaä—will cook Slice Factory’s 28-inch jumbo slice and Chicago-style stuffed pizzas at its newest locations as it plans aggressive expansion.

Slice Factory, which operates 12 locations in the Chicago metropolitan area, will additionally utilize Pizzaiolaä to prepare its pastas and chicken wings at new units that open. In fact, the voice-controlled automated “chef” cooks pasta, burgers, wings, in addition to preparing salads.

“Our partnership with Slice Factory, the first of many in the pipeline, represents another important milestone for Nala Robotics and the adoption of our restaurant-as-a-service platform,” said Ajay Sunkara, Nala Robotics co-founder and chief executive. “Our custom solution will help Slice Factory expand production to meet rising demand for the jumbo slice craze it created in the Chicagoland area, plus offer a wide variety of food options to keep customers happy, while also saving on labor costs.”

To ensure efficiency, the robotic operating system monitors more than 1,200 parameters every microsecond, ranging from robot field of vision and food quality to point-of-sales.

Nala says its robotic operating system will monitor more than 1,200 parameters every microsecond. These range from robot field of vision and food quality to point-of-sales, ensuring maximum efficiency. Once a pizza order is placed, Pizzaiolaä will subsequently select, press and stretch the dough, add the sauce, cheese, and toppings. It will then cook, slice, and box the pizza based on customer preference.

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With regard to the pizza chain’s flagship Slice Thru drive-thru, the automated chef will fulfill online orders and individual jumbo slices for pickup within a few minutes of ordering.

“We’re known for our jumbo pizzas and jumbo slices, and this partnership with Nala Robotics will help us improve production exponentially as we expand locations and service areas,” said Dom DiDiana, Slice Factory founder and president, whose family moved from Naples, Italy, to Chicago in the mid-1990s and opened their first family-run Italian restaurant a few years later. “What’s really exciting is that we now have the capability to run fully autonomous pizzeria-style restaurants with lots of menu items, while keeping our family recipes consistent with the same great taste and exceptional food quality our customers have loved for many years.”

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