Flippy, a burger-flipping robot, has just begun work at a restaurant in Pasadena, California. It is the first of dozens of locations for the system, which is destined to replace human fast-food workers.
According to a press release from Miso, the company — which bills Flippy as the world’s first burger-flipping robot — began working with Caliburger two years ago to develop it as a “cost-effective and highly efficient solution” that is “specifically designed to operate in an existing commercial kitchen layout and to serve alongside kitchen staff to safely and efficiently fulfill a variety of cooking tasks.”
“The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots,” said David Zito, co-founder and CEO of Miso Robotics tells KTLA in Los Angeles. “This technology is not about replacing jobs — we see Flippy as that third hand.”
But Flippy still needs a human to help it do its job. In its current version, the robot has to have a human coworker nearby to place the patties on the grill, put the cheese on top at the right moment, and add the extras, such as lettuce and sauce before wrapping the sandwiches for customers. So all it does is flip burgers. But it is just one more nail in the minimum wage’s coffin, that’s for certain.
“The Flippy robot takes the form of a relatively small, wheeled cart equipped with a 6-axis robotic arm and what Miso Robotics calls a ‘sensor bar,’ TechCrunch writes. “It takes in data from thermal sensors, 3-D sensors and different cameras onboard to perceive its environment. Digital systems that send tickets from the counter back to the kitchen give Flippy its orders.”
TechCrunch also reported that unlike rival burger bots under development, such as one made by Momentum Machines, Flippy uses artificial intelligence to improve its technique – so the more it works, the better it gets at the job, in much the same way that might be expected from a human worker.
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