While frozen pizzas will always have a place in my heart (all those years as a student living on a strict budget), it seems they may be short-lived. A company has built what they claim is a ‘pizza vending machine’ that uses robots to automate the pizza-making process. Called the Piestro (a portmanteau of Pie and Maestro), this machine allows you to order artisanal pizzas with a few button-taps. Choose your toppings and the entire apparatus puts your pizza together from scratch, dispensing sauce evenly on the base, generously scattering the toppings, loading it with cheese, and then baking the pie before dispensing it out to you neatly tucked in a pizza-box. Sure, the Piestro won’t replace actually eating a true-blue New York-style pizza handmade by a master pizzaiolo, but it sort of rings the death knell for pre-packaged pizzas, and possibly even for fast-food chains like Dominos and Pizza Hut… because guess what, the Piestro can run 24×7, allowing you to order a pizza even at 3am in the morning.
The Piestro’s process starts with a pre-made pizza base (it’s easier and lasts longer than fresh wet dough) onto which it pours generous dollops of sauce. The pizza moves down the conveyor belt where the toppings you choose (using a touchscreen interface) are scattered on top of it, right before the pizza makes its way into an oven that cooks the toppings. Sort of like one of those toy-grabbing machines, the entire process is visible behind a transparent panel, before the pizza finally pops out of an opening at the base of the machine taking just 3 minutes from start to finish.
The creators of the Piestro highlight how useful a pizza-vending machine would be in current times. It works without any human intervention, and apart from the fact that it needs to be replenished with fresh ingredients ever so often, the Piestro can practically work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing fresh pizzas to people even in a lockdown. Not to mention the fact that the pizza comes untouched by human hands (try and match that, Dominos). The company’s even partnering with PopID to ensure contactless payments by relying on facial recognition to authenticate payments to the pizza machine. The Piestro is currently in its funding stages, looking for partners and investors to hop on board and bring this robotic pizza-master to life.