An unattended, robotic vending machine that serves frozen yogurt – toppings and all – in 60 seconds or less been approved by the California Department of Public Health.
Generation NEXT Franchise Brands – a company based in San Diego – announced Tuesday that its Reis & Irvy’s soft serve kiosks have been approved by the CDPH for a variance that allows the machines to operate in California.
Earlier this month, the San Diego Business Journal reported the robot ice cream vendors were close to making their debut in the Golden State.
In a press release Tuesday, Generation NEXT said it had been working with CDPH to obtain this approval for nearly one year. The approval requires the use of a feature called the “Hydra Rinse Mobile System” for cleaning and sanitizing the machines.
“This cleaning system replaces the 24-hour cleaning schedule requirement in California, with a schedule that allows operators to service their kiosks once every 72 hours,” the press release explained.
The Hydra Rinse cleaning systems are manufactured in Victor, New York.
Billed by Generation NEXT as “the world's first fully-automated robotic frozen dessert vending kiosk designed to disrupt brick-and-mortar competitors,” the machines can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelato and sorbet decked out with a selection of toppings.
The machines feature a self-checkout touch screen that customers can use to place their orders and select their payment options. The entire ordering process – top to bottom – is unattended.
Generation NEXT said the CDPH approval also includes quarterly bacteriological testing of the machines, and “implementation of a robust Quality Assurance Plan” with public health of utmost importance.
The CDPH approval is a milestone in the process to eventually install the machines across California in places like hospitals, offices, and other sites with substantial foot traffic.
Generation NEXT said the next steps include moving forward on licensing with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and getting the county health permits required to start installing Reis & Irvy’s robots across the state.
According to the San Diego Business Journal’s report from earlier this month, Reis & Irvy’s currently has 325 frozen yogurt robots deployed around the globe. Close to 1,000 more – including 30 to 40 throughout Southern California – are scheduled to be installed this year.
The robot vendors have a width of 15 square feet and are about 6 feet in height. They can hold up to 200 ice cream cups, with the ability to deliver up to 60 servings per hour, according to Generation NEXT.