Dexter: the evolution of the shawarma robot

Dexter: the evolution of the shawarma robot

Shawarma robots cut shawarma almost autonomously, thus making restaurants in the Middle East, where shawarma is a delicacy, less dependent on a specialized chef. Client Solufo envisioned a new generation of robots: more functional and user-friendly to deliver consistent quality shawarma in delicacy chains such as Naf-Naf.

Textbook example

Dexter, as Solufo has called its new robot, lives up to that vision in every way. Spark contributed among others in the areas of concept development, system design, industrial design, product design, DfM, software development, testing, user interaction and branding. “That all came together in a product that really makes sense. A textbook example of multidisciplinary design,” says Sander Havik, project manager from Spark.

This approach has led, among other things, to a patented innovation: a unique measuring system that captures the profile of a specific shoarma roll for every cut, allowing the meat to be cut with an accuracy of +/- 0.2 mm. Havik continues: “In addition, together with the client, we have adapted the interaction to the user workflow and ensured that essential maintenance such as cleaning and grinding cannot be forgotten. We also managed the implementation of that interaction through the interface, including the programming and the link to the database."

New standard

The detachable parts, the curved shapes and the transitions between the parts... every detail in the robot’s design helps make it more user-friendly and hygienic. Spark Designer Diederik Augustijn: “In addition, these design choices ensure a professional, reliable appearance. This also applies, for example, to the large integrated display of the interface, which contributes to its ease of use and professional appearance. This product is something to be seen, just like an espresso machine in a good cafe. It sets a new standard in the market.”


In the area of branding, Spark helped develop the Solufo brand name, the design of the logo, the corporate identity and website and the use of colour. Regarding the latter, not only cultural acceptance was considered, but also the function, Augustijn explains: “Green is associated with fresh and makes the red of the meat even redder. The same reason why it is also used in the display counter of the butcher.” Havik adds: “And black makes for a premium look. Like the black plastic trays that are used for the more expensive meats at the supermarket.”

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