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Silicon Valley's startup teaches robot to make pizza

Silicon Valley's startup teaches robot to make pizzaSilicon Valley's Zume Pizza, which began delivery in April, is using intelligent machines to grab a slice of the multibillion-dollar pizza delivery market, Associated Press reports.

"We're going to eliminate boring, repetitive, dangerous jobs, and we're going to free up people to do things that are the higher value," said co-founder Alex Garden, a former Microsoft manager and president of mobile game maker Zynga Studios.

Inside its commercial kitchen in Mountain View, pizza dough travels down a conveyor belt where machines add the sauce, spread it and later carefully slide the uncooked pies into an 800-degree oven.

The startup will soon add robots to prep the dough, add cheese and toppings, take pizzas out of the oven, cut them into slices and box them for delivery.

"We automate those repetitive tasks so that we can spend more money on higher quality ingredients," said Julia Collins, Zume's CEO and co-founder.

Zume's founders say the company doesn't plan to eliminate any of its roughly 50 employees, but move them into new jobs as robots take over more kitchen work and the company opens new locations.

Zume also wants to bring innovation to pizza delivery. This fall the startup plans to deploy trucks equipped with 56 ovens that can bake pizzas en route to customers, allowing them to deliver dozens of orders before returning to the kitchen.

The company is trying to shorten delivery times with software to anticipate when and what kind of pizzas customers will order.
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