A California-based start-up has launched a new robotic dishwasher intended for use in commercial kitchens.
Dishcraft hopes that its product will help businesses that are struggling to hire staff to wash the dishes, whilst also eliminating the risk of employees breaking plates or slipping and falling on the wet floor.
The robot is said to be more accurate than a human dishwasher, thanks to its use of cameras, sensors and “dirt identification algorithms.”
It uses magnets to pick up plates and bowls, a rubber scraping wheel to clean and safe recycled water to rinse, before the items are automatically stacked into racks.
Founder and CEO, Linda Pouliot, said: “We found the problem is universal. It didn’t matter if you were the French laundry, a hospital cafeteria; everyone is having a hard time hiring dishwashers.”
She added that Dishcraft’s product was loved by restaurateurs because, “robots do not call off, robots don’t take breaks, and robots do not take vacations.”
The product is part of a system that contains four elements: a dish drop, where waiters can place the plates and bowls; the robotic dishwasher itself; rolling racks where the plates are automatically stacked after washing; and the restaurant’s already-installed sanitising machine.
Although the system currently only works with plates and bowls that the company makes and sells, Dishcraft hopes to eventually ensure that the dishwasher is compatible with any kitchen item that needs cleaning.
The US firm is focusing mainly on installations in high volume cafeterias and has so far raised almost £20m ($25m) in venture funding.