Though bread vending machines are a thing in some places, they still require some degree of human involvement. The Breadbot, a machine set to debut at CES 2019, is different: it is an autonomous gadget that functions as an all-in-one bakery. At first glance, Breadbot resembles an old train engine, but a second look reveals its container of bread loaves and baking contraption.
Breadbot is the brainchild of Wilkinson Baking Company, which previously unveiled the autonomous baking contraption during SXSW 2018. According to the company, its machinery is a miniature bakery capable of baking bread, bringing fresh bakery goods to retailers with no actual bakers necessary.
The contraption measures 120in x 53in, making it reasonably small enough to fit within most grocery stores. The system is visually transparent in many ways, showing loaves of bread while they’re in the oven all the way to the stacks of finished, baked bread. The machine can produce 10 loaves of fresh bread per hour, which the company claims is the optimal number of grocery stores.
Users are able to schedule hours during which Breadbot operates, enabling stores to tailor its output to their customers’ demand for bread. The machine is self-cleaning, at least when it comes to the mixing pot, though an employee still has to wipe down its surfaces.
A display on Breadbot enables it to deliver requests to workers, such as asking them to empty the bread cabinet or add more mix to the pot. Aside from adding more mix, emptying the bread cabinet, and wiping the surfaces, employees only need to slice the loaves of bread, making their total workload last about 40 minutes per day.