Four engineering grads created a sustainable restaurant run by robots

When Michael Farid, Kale Rogers, Luke Schlueter and Brady Knight were in undergrad at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), they couldn’t afford to keep up with all the new chains popping up with takeout meals that cost $10 to $20. The friends were water polo teammates and needed to maintain good nutrition while on student budgets — which just wasn’t feasible at the time.

The four were robotics engineers and came up with a vision where a machine would cook delicious meals for them, serve them and then do the clean-up after.

They started slowly building a prototype in their fraternity basement and two years later, in May 2018, the first Spyce restaurant opened up in Boston.

First, a commissary kitchen — a big commercial kitchen where food service workers prep the food — gets all of the ingredients organized to be poured into food hoppers above the robots.

Then each robot has seven cooking woks — essentially large, lightweight cast iron pans — that are heated using induction, which uses less energy than other heating methods. All meals are cooked to order within three minutes or less.

Finally, a garde manager (a human) puts the final touches on the meal and makes sure it’s good to go.

When you’ve finished your dish, it goes back to the robots, who clean it vigorously and as quickly as possible.

Still not sure whether you want a meal cooked by a robot? Michelin-Star French chef and restauranteur Daniel Boulud is the culinary director and taste tests every menu item himself.

Spyce is innovating a new way to make fast-food as sustainable as possible. They don’t use beef in any of the products because it’s unsustainably sourced and the kitchen’s only outputs are electricity and water.

As Spyce continues to prepare for a more eco-friendly and sustainable world, we hope they’ll continue to grow to more major cities.

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