Guiding MIT Engineers from Documentation to Interconnect Production
We were excited to see this article about Spyce Kitchen (originally written by Michael Santillo of Gusto Journal) pop up as a featured article in Apple News. Spyce is a Boston-based robotic restaurant. And while Jane Jetson along with her dedicated helper, Rosie Robot, made it look so easy years ago, push-button meal prep is much more complex than a prophetic cartoon character (who eventually suffered from a case of buttonitis!) portrayed for us over a quarter-century ago.
And like Jane and Rosie, Spyce also works with a symbiotic mix of human and machine. First reports are that this eatery operates efficiently and produces a streamlined experience for customers. The food, as it’s reported, is also delicious.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Though humans are used for ingredient portioning and garnishing, everything in between is completely automated. The robotic kitchen includes seven cooking woks, five hoppers, and a runner. According to the restaurant, their robotic kitchen is able to serve up to 150 meals every hour. This rapid speed, however, doesn’t take away from the experience of the meal. The involvement of MIT Engineers’ minds is clear in the exact timing of the process; the bowls are cooked just the right amount for the ingredients to mingle without blending into a monotonous mash.
Other overriding benefits of this robotic restaurant include:
- Maintaining nourishment and creativity because they can reduce labor costs to refocus into sourcing quality ingredients
- Personalizing meals—able to cater to and customize dishes based on dietary preferences with ease
- Providing delicious food at affordable prices; Spyce is located in a college-centric city
What’s Fourstar Got to Do with it?
Which brings us to this question: what’s Fourstar got to do with it? While we always appreciate a good meal, there is more to it than that. Quite a bit, actually! The MIT engineers who created the design for this restaurant and the specific robotics involved are clearly very intelligent people. But a concept remains just that until you figure out how to bring it all together through design for manufacturability (DFM), documentation to produce a bill of material (BOM) for procuring wire and harness content, and ultimately, production roll-out.
The creators of Spyce came to Fourstar for help with all of the above. Being their first foray into manufacturing, we’ve been able to help them with all of the above. They had the information regarding the wire gauge and location and quantity of the contacts, the part number of either the connectors, or the connectors they are plugging into, and a length. All of this was very time sensitive, as most new products tend to be. They had in-house capacity for some of the productions, but not all of it—and wouldn’t be able to scale with their projected growth to add locations. We will be building additional systems for them in 2020.
30 Years of Trusted Expertise
We’ve been in the interconnect industry for over 30 years, so coming to us to figure out the rest, while doing so with time-to-market (TTM) requirements, is a great fit for us both. What that looks like, when we help a company like this one—or any start-up, established company, or one beginning a new business or product line—is that we go beyond consulting their team, and join their team to guide them through every step of the process. This includes many aspects of getting a product to market: it’s real time advice, actionable planning and production, and can be as nuanced as teaching them strategies to implement so they can reach their goals and attain success.
Working with customers is a process—not just an order-in-production-out transaction. We build a tremendous bond with our customers. They trust our judgement because we are in it with them. When we look at the work we are doing with Spyce Kitchen and their goals, we are thrilled to partner in developing products that have positive benefits that reach beyond simply building a product. Other companies may not be trying to create nutritional meals, but they might be advancing battery technology or reaching into new markets with heightened sustainability profiles. Whatever it might be, as trusted advisors, we help companies figure out how to get their products to the next level, ultimately raising the bottom line. What a great position to be in—for all of us!
Your Trusted Advisor
With over 30 years of industry knowledge and interconnect expertise, Fourstar Connections is a trusted advisor to companies across a range of industries. We partner with you to “find a better way” for time to market, new product introduction, and design for manufacturing initiatives. How can we find a better way for you? Let’s connect—contact Fourstar to get the conversation started.