NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — A robot called “Chippy” is making tortilla chips at the Chipotle Cultivate Center, an innovation hub in Irvine, Calif. The robot may be integrated into a Chipotle restaurant in Southern California later this year.
“Our goal is to drive efficiencies through collaborative robotics that will enable Chipotle’s crew members to focus on other tasks in the restaurant,” said Curt Garner, chief technology officer for Chipotle.
Chipotle called on Miso Robotics, Pasadena, Calif., to customize a robot to cook and season tortilla chips.
“This partnership will allow us to move into new territory to help improve back-of-house functions and assist team members with their day-to-day responsibilities,” said Mike Bell, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics.
Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), Chippy is trained to replicate the Chipotle recipe using corn masa flour, water and sunflower oil. A dusting of salt seasons the chips, which contain a hint of lime juice.
“Everyone loves finding a chip with a little more salt or an extra hint of lime,” said Nevielle Panthaky, vice president of culinary for Chipotle. “To ensure we didn’t lose the humanity behind our culinary experience, we trained Chippy extensively to ensure the output mirrored our current product, delivering some subtle variations in flavor that our guests expect.”Chipotle plans to listen, test and learn from crew and guest feedback before deciding how to implement Chippy nationally.