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Chipotle rolls out 'Autocado,' a robot to help make guacamole faster

Chipotle has a resource to help prepare its signature guacamole – a collaborative robot prototype that cuts, cores and peels avocados before they are hand-mashed.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is testing a new robot to help make its signature guacamole faster.

The restaurant created the collaborative robot prototype – called Autocado – with Vebu, a product development firm that works with companies in the food industry to provide automated solutions for the entire food supply chain. The robot can cut, core and peel avocados before they are hand mashed.

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Chipotle is also an investor in Vebu through its Cultivate Next venture fund, which was designed to promote additional innovation opportunities in the restaurant space, the company said. 

"The intensive labor of cutting, coring, and scooping avocados could be relieved with Autocado, but we still maintain the essential culinary experience of hand mashing and hand preparing the guacamole to our exacting standards," Curt Garner, Chipotle’s chief customer and technology officer, said in a statement.

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"We are committed to exploring collaborative robotics to drive efficiencies and ease pain points for our employees," he added.

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With Autocado capable of holding up to 25 pounds of avocados at once, Chipotle team members can load the robot full of ripe avocados until one at a time, the avocados are vertically oriented, then transferred to the processing device.

The avocados are then sliced in half. Their cores and skin are automatically removed, and the waste is discarded. The avocados are collected in a stainless-steel bowl inside Autocado, until a team member moves the bowl to the counter where they add additional ingredients and hand-mash them. 

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