A new wave of investments in automation is expected to eliminate 20% to 25% of current jobs by 2030 (40 million displaced jobs). In the latest installment of robots taking jobs, we have found a robot dishwasher that threatens to replace 550,000 jobs in the coming years.
A startup called Dishcraft Robotics is set to disrupt commercial kitchens with robot dishwashers. The new robot is designed to reduce the time and energy that humans spend washing plates by using automation to make sure dishes are cleaned faster and cheaper than a typical human.
CEO and founder Linda Pouliot and CTO Paul Birkmeye figured out through careful examination of restaurants that robots haven't disrupted the dish room as it has remained the same for decades.
In a typical restaurant, dishwashers could break plates and or glasses, get burned and even slip on the wet floor, Birkmeyer noticed. Getting someone to scrub dishes all-day was one of the most challenging jobs in the kitchen to fill, he stated.
"We found the problem is universal. It didn't matter if you were the French Laundry, a hospital cafeteria or Chili's; everyone is having a hard time hiring dishwashers," Pouliot said.
To solve the uncertainties in the dish room, Dishcraft's robotic system gives restaurants a more sustainable, less costly option than humans.
The new system has four main components: a dish drop, robotic dishwasher, rolling racks, and a sanitizing machine.
First, dishes are pre-sorted and stacked in carts by humans. The cart is then wheeled into the Dishcraft system, a robot arm then uses magnets to pick up a dirty dish and places it in a washer.
After the dish is cleaned with special scrubbers, it's rotated and examined for cleanliness using computer vision and machine learning algorithms.
Restaurants like the Dishcraft because "Robots do not call off, robots don't take breaks, and robots do not take vacation," Pouliot said.
Dishcraft's main goal is to remove the human element from the kitchen.
The US economy is in the midst of a significant transformation of its economy - one where automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics will take over. These forces will disrupt at least 40 million jobs in the next ten years, and as we've shown in this latest piece, robots are now coming for dishwashers.