WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Robot manufacturers are increasingly targeting the services sector, and that includes flipping burgers.
Flippy, a burger flipping robot has just completed its first day on the job at CaliBurger, a burger chain in California, and in doing so it broke the hearts of tens of thousands of wannabe burger flippers around the world.
Could this be the beginning of the end for humans at the grill? Probably not but it’s another sign that times, and perhaps more importantly attitudes towards robots, could be changing.
The robotic kitchen assistant, whose creators Miso Robotics, are keen to capitalise on the public’s, and businesses, new found interest in robotics can be installed in just five minutes and apparently it cooks perfect burgers every time, non-stop, 24/7. Unlike a fry cook
“Much like self-driving vehicles, Flippy continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time,” said David Zito, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics, “and although we’re starting with the relatively ‘simple’ task of cooking burgers, our proprietary artificial intelligence software allows our kitchen assistants to be adaptable and therefore can be trained to help with almost any dull, dirty or dangerous task in a commercial kitchen – whether it’s frying chicken, cutting vegetables or final plating.”
So Miso Robotics quest for world domination it seems does not stop at burgers…
Cameras and sensors help Flippy to determine when the burger is fully cooked before the robot places them on a bun, after which a human co-worker, if that’s the right word, takes over and adds condiments. Although in time that too is going to be easy enough to automate.
CaliBurger has now announced that it plans to roll Flippy out to at least fifty more restaurants within the next year with the aim of installing them worldwide by the end of 2019, saying that the benefits include making “food faster, safer and with fewer errors,” and let’s not forget the $21,000 they save for every employee they don’t have to pay.
It’s a sad day for Spongebob, and fry cooks everywhere, and who knows one day Flippy could find itself cooking lab grown burgers…