Industrial robot manufacturer Kuka has launched what it claims is the world’s first chocolate- and praline-making robot at Zotter’s chocolate factory in Austria.
Visitors can watch Kuka’s KR Agilus robot turn chocolate into pralines or bars, handling the temperature-sensitive product with precision. The KR Agilus model has been specially developed for precise and accurate working processes in the low load range.
What’s more, the robot can grip by using a suction cup that produces small rhythmic movements. This enables the robot to pour liquid chocolate into moulds, swinging the moulds to evenly distribute the chocolate before placing it in a refrigerator.
A second robot collects the cooled goods from the refrigerator and places it on an output conveyor.
A third robot then presents guests with the finished chocolate product, which they will have selected earlier using a touch panel.
According to Kuka, several varieties can be produced within a short space of time. Pralines can also be created taking into account intolerances and other allergies.
Reinhard Nagler, country manager of Kuka, said: “The KR Agilus can work accurately in the hundredth of a millimetre range. The quality also remains consistently high even after the 100,000th praline.”
Zotter said it plans to continue using traditional handiwork in the future whilst broadening the possibility of using more robots.