Technology

Jamba gives its smoothie robot some personality

The robotic arm now sports a set of googly eyes and a dance routine, part of an effort to make the technology more engaging for guests.
Jamba by Blendid bot
Jamba's robotic arms now have eyes. / Photo courtesy of Gestalt Brand Lab

Jamba is giving its smoothie robot a makeover. 

The 850-unit beverage chain on Tuesday unveiled a new look for its Jamba by Blendid automated smoothie kiosks, which feature a robotic arm that mixes fresh smoothies.

The reimagined arm now sports a pair of googly eyes and has a dance routine. And the kiosk itself is more colorful and features a mural by artist Kevin Bongang. The company said it wanted to make the experience warmer and more personal for customers.

Jamba by Blendid's new look

Jamba by Blendid's vibrant new look. / Image courtesy of Gestalt Brand Lab

“We began to notice that our guests were really interested in the robots and created personas for them as they watched them make smoothies and, yes, even dance,” said Danielle Fisher, Jamba’s VP of marketing, in a statement. 

Jamba worked with branding agency Gestalt Brand Lab on the new look, which will make its debut at a Jamba by Blendid location in UCLA’s Ackerman Student Union. 

"Our goal with the Jamba by Blendid creative work was to develop a unique consumer offering only found at the robotic kiosks,drawing consumers in with a fun and Insta-worthy experience," said Brian Munce, Gestalt’s managing director.

Jamba by Blending

Jamba by Blendid's original design. / Photograph courtesy of Jamba

It comes as customers remain on the fence about the idea of robots making their food. Last year, 38% of adults said they would like to order food prepared by robots, according to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Restaurant Industry report. Younger generations were more open to it, including 60% of Gen Zers and 50% of millennials. 

More restaurants have been exploring robotic kiosks recently as a way to expand quickly while offering customers convenient access to their food.

Jamba currently has six of them. It launched its first in December 2020 in a California Walmart, and in July announced it was partnering with Love’s Travel Stops to put bots in some of its rest areas.

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