Saturday 13 July 2024
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Artly uses AI to offer trainable robot baristas with its proprietary imitation learning tech

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SEATTLE, WA, USA – The coffee industry is no stranger to artificial intelligence. AI helps coffee shops automate and manage data, improve customer wait times, take orders and forecast demand. But can it be used to brew the perfect cup of coffee at an affordable price? Artly believes so, which is why it has created AI-powered robots that can mimic the actions of human expert baristas.

The Seattle startup uses motion capture technology to record the actions of its championship-winning baristas and then draws on patented AI technology to teach the robots to replicate even the most complex recipes with the same precision as a human.

The company’s proprietary imitation learning, computer vision, robotic control and large language models enable these robots to brew a quality cup of coffee at an affordable price.

The Industry Needs A Shot

It’s something Artly says is missing in the industry. Starbucks Corp.) does brisk business selling coffee and other caffeinated beverages to the masses, but when it comes to a high-quality cup of java it tends to fall short, says Artly. While there are specialty coffee shops, they are few and far between. High employee turnover in the industry makes it a tough business to operate.

Over the last decade, the average turnover rate in the restaurant industry was 79.6%. Hiring and training a replacement can cost thousands of dollars, which is why access to specialty coffee shops can be limited – and when you do find one, it can be pricey.

Artly is setting out to change that and since launching it seems to have proven its mettle. Co-founded by Meng Wang, a leading expert in computer vision and machine learning, and staffed with a team of coffee experts including Wenbo (Joe) Yang, a highly accomplished coffee professional with over 10 years of experience in the specialty coffee industry, Artly has found a way to brew quality coffee and at the same time lower the costs for its customers thanks to lower overheads.

Artly says its bots can create the perfect cup of coffee every time because they don’t leave anything to chance. Every cup of coffee is inspected via deep learning visualization technology.

The robots are trained to spot problems and avoid obstacles to ensure the coffee is brewed to perfection regardless of the ingredients. It can also do it at a lower cost for the specialty coffee shop. After all, its bots eliminate a lot of the manual processes involved with brewing coffee and the machines take up only a small area, which means less square footage is required for a store.

Artly is lowering the cost of brewing high-end coffee with its barista bots. To invest in this start-up click here.

No downtime with Artly’s AI Robots

Coffee shop owners also don’t have to worry about lost productivity when they use an Artly robot. After all the robots won’t call in sick, they can work around the clock and thanks to AI their skills and performance improve the more they brew. As AI technology advances these robots should easily match and potentially beat human baristas when it comes to quality and speed. It’s one of the reasons the startup is seeing revenue growth.

Through its Artly AI unit, the company rents out its AI baristas via a robot-as-a-service model. The RaaS model includes an imitation learning platform so human baristas can teach the robots new techniques and tricks.

Artly also operates a chain of coffee shops staffed with its bots. The company sources and roasts its coffee beans in a manner that ensures quality is not compromised. Artly’s 19 robots have served over half a million cups of specialty coffee in nine stores since its launch. Meanwhile, revenue has soared, increasing 900% to $910,000 in 2022 from $100,000 in 2021. By 2023, revenue hit $1.8 million, a stark increase in only two years.

The Artly coffee shop in the San Francisco Premium Outlet generated $40,000 per month in 2022 and had a 40% EBITDA margin due to its low labor costs and customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, the Artly coffee shop at Stewart 101 has achieved an average profit margin of 40% since it opened.

All nine Artly coffee shops have a positive EBITDA margin. Last month, Artly opened its first shop in Vancouver, Canada, and is also expanding in Japan. All of this seems to be resonating with investors – to date it has raised $2.63 million from 1,190 investors, giving it a valuation of $99.97 million on StartEngine.

The coffee industry is getting an overhaul thanks to AI, machine learning and Artly. Robots can now not only automate manual processes but, in Artly’s case, can also brew a perfect cup of coffee.

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