CASE STUDY

Dexai’s robot sous chef stirs up culinary success with Viam

Building a robot sous chef is as difficult as it sounds. But with Viam, Dexai accelerates development into a matter of days, not months.
Viam’s flexible component architecture and built-in services free up the Dexai team to focus on their core expertise: building a robot that safely and efficiently prepares meals.

Rapid prototyping

Pre-built drivers and custom configurations for hardware speed up development.

Cloud connected

Program, debug, and manage robots and components from anywhere.

flexible software

Add flexibility to system design with plug-and-play robot configurations.
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“Instead of having to spend months building a custom solution, we could just grab components off the shelf that Viam had already developed. And that lets us focus on what we're really good at, which is teaching robots how to make food.”
— David Johnson, Founder and CEO, Dexai

THE PROBLEM

“Building a robot that works in chaotic spaces like kitchens is really challenging. There's just so many components of the software and the hardware which all have to work together.” —David Johnson, CEO

The food service and commercial kitchen industries currently face massive labor shortages—a problem that robots can help solve. Founded as a spin-out from the Draper Laboratory research institute, Dexai Robotics envisions a future in which robots safely and efficiently prepare food, freeing up restaurant staff’s time to focus on customer service.

However, creating a robot that works alongside humans in uncertain environments like kitchens is a complex undertaking. To accelerate development of Alfred, Dexai’s robotic sous chef, the teaem needed a robotics software platform that could:

  • Support configurations and services for custom hardware components
  • Enable secure cloud-based management of robots and components
  • Reduce development needs by providing off-the-shelf solutions for networking, security, and user management

THE SOLUTION

“Viam enables us to build a robotic system with a lot of flexibility to make decisions later and not lock ourselves into particular architectures right off the bat.” —Brooke Stevens, VP of Software

Alfred’s unique combination of AI, computer vision, and predictive motion control is a gamechanger for food preparation. When building a complex robotic system like Alfred’s, every day of development time saved makes a difference. 

Eager to accelerate the process, the Dexai explored Viam as a potential robotics software solution. Viam’s flexible robot architecture enabled Dexai to rapidly iterate. Dexai found it easy to:

  • Test the Viam platform using a single component: a custom end-effector grasping component that incorporates an Intel RealSense Depth camera
  • Configure and connect their custom component using Viam’s Robot Development Kit (RDK)
  • Capture and sync camera data to the cloud with Viam’s built-in data management service

THE IMPACT

“Robotics is still quite immature in how the systems work together. Viam can make all those headaches go away so that you can really accelerate building your robotics system.” —Brooke Stevens, VP of Software

Viam’s modern approach to robotics software turned processes that used to take months of engineers’ time into just days. With the the success of Dexai’s initial test with the platform, the team is enthusiastic about the potential ways to scale with Viam, including:

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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“Instead of having to spend months building a custom solution, we could just grab components off the shelf that Viam had already developed. And that lets us focus on what we're really good at, which is teaching robots how to make food.”
— David Johnson, Founder and CEO, Dexai

THE PROBLEM

“Building a robot that works in chaotic spaces like kitchens is really challenging. There's just so many components of the software and the hardware which all have to work together.” —David Johnson, CEO

The food service and commercial kitchen industries currently face massive labor shortages—a problem that robots can help solve. Founded as a spin-out from the Draper Laboratory research institute, Dexai Robotics envisions a future in which robots safely and efficiently prepare food, freeing up restaurant staff’s time to focus on customer service.

However, creating a robot that works alongside humans in uncertain environments like kitchens is a complex undertaking. To accelerate development of Alfred, Dexai’s robotic sous chef, the teaem needed a robotics software platform that could:

  • Support configurations and services for custom hardware components
  • Enable secure cloud-based management of robots and components
  • Reduce development needs by providing off-the-shelf solutions for networking, security, and user management

THE SOLUTION

“Viam enables us to build a robotic system with a lot of flexibility to make decisions later and not lock ourselves into particular architectures right off the bat.” —Brooke Stevens, VP of Software

Alfred’s unique combination of AI, computer vision, and predictive motion control is a gamechanger for food preparation. When building a complex robotic system like Alfred’s, every day of development time saved makes a difference. 

Eager to accelerate the process, the Dexai explored Viam as a potential robotics software solution. Viam’s flexible robot architecture enabled Dexai to rapidly iterate. Dexai found it easy to:

  • Test the Viam platform using a single component: a custom end-effector grasping component that incorporates an Intel RealSense Depth camera
  • Configure and connect their custom component using Viam’s Robot Development Kit (RDK)
  • Capture and sync camera data to the cloud with Viam’s built-in data management service

THE IMPACT

“Robotics is still quite immature in how the systems work together. Viam can make all those headaches go away so that you can really accelerate building your robotics system.” —Brooke Stevens, VP of Software

Viam’s modern approach to robotics software turned processes that used to take months of engineers’ time into just days. With the the success of Dexai’s initial test with the platform, the team is enthusiastic about the potential ways to scale with Viam, including:

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
Customer Logo
INDUSTRY
Food Service
ROBOT
Sous Chef
SERVICES
Modular Service
Cloud Control

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