Middleby has been granted a patent for an automated food preparation system that includes a cooking apparatus with processing devices and a robot arm for moving consumable items. The system utilizes locators to determine movements for efficient food preparation. GlobalData’s report on Middleby gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Middleby, was a key innovation area identified from patents. Middleby's grant share as of January 2024 was 59%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Automated food preparation system with robot arm for cooking

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: The Middleby Corp

A newly granted patent (Publication Number: US11882964B2) discloses an automated food preparation system that includes a cooking apparatus with multiple processing devices mounted on a reference frame. The system features a robot arm extending from a movable base, which can be mounted to one of the processing devices. The robot arm is designed to move consumable items between the processing devices based on frame position locators fixed at different horizontal positions on the reference frame. Additionally, the moveable base of the system comprises a rail along which the robot arm can translate, and lifts are included to elevate the base from the floor surface.

Furthermore, the automated food preparation system includes safety features such as horizontal safety zones to prevent accidents involving human interference. The robot arm is programmed to adjust its movement speed or even stop based on the detection of human movement in these safety zones. The system also incorporates an end effector with lead-in guides and gripper paddles to center and push consumable item carrier arms effectively. Overall, the patented system aims to streamline food preparation processes by automating tasks and ensuring safety measures are in place to prevent accidents in the kitchen environment.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.