Chipotle is testing a robot named Chippy to make its tortilla chips as restaurants turn more to tech

·2 min read
Chippy is a robot made by Chipotle and Miso Robotics which can make the restaurant chain's signature tortilla chips.
Chippy is a robot made by Chipotle and Miso Robotics which can make the restaurant chain's signature tortilla chips.

Ready to have your tortilla chips from Chipotle made by a robot?

The restaurant chain announced Wednesday plans to test an AI kitchen assistant named Chippy, capable of cooking and seasoning its tortilla chips.

The robot has been trained to follow the same technique for creating the chips as with human hands, Chipotle said. It includes combining corn masa flour, water and sunflower oil, cooking the chips, seasoning with salt, then adding a hint of lime juice.

"We are always exploring opportunities to enhance our employee and guest experience," Curt Garner, chief technology officer at Chipotle, said in a statement. "Our goal is to drive efficiencies through collaborative robotics that will enable Chipotle’s crew members to focus on other tasks in the restaurant."

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Chippy is currently being tested at the company's innovation hub in Irvine California. It will make its debut at a Chipotle restaurant in southern California later this year. The results of in-restaurant testing will help determine when Chippy rolls out nationally, the company said.

The robotic chip maker was created in partnership with California-based company Miso Robotics, which also works with burger chain White Castle on Flippy 2, a robot that can cook French fries. Last month, Miso Robotics revealed it would install Flippy 2 in 100 more White Castle locations.

Robots have increasingly moved into restaurants as companies look for opportunities to speed up serving processes and combat growing worker shortages. For example, Richtech Robotics developed a robot called Matradee which can help staff serve food and clear tables.

There's also the New Jersey-based RoboBurger, which has developed a robot the size of a vending machine capable of making a burger from scratch by pressing a button.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chipotle chips: A robot named Chippy making tortilla chips in AI test