Automation: Burger-Flipping Robot Now Works in a Restaurant Chain
March 10, 2018, 04:38 PM
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Automation is increasingly coming to a burger joint near you. Companies like McDonald’s have already begun adding kiosks for ordering. Now we are seeing robots with moving parts like Flippy working the grill.

A year ago, Greg Creed, the CEO of Yum Brands (which include Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell), opined “I do believe that probably by the mid-twenties to the late twenties, you will start to see a dramatic change in how machines run the world.” (In a decade, many fast-food restaurants will be automated, says Yum Brands CEO, CNBC, March 28, 2017)

So the automated future lies ahead and business leaders see it coming, but Washington remains largely asleep. It would make sense to reduce immigration substantially, because low-skilled foreigners will be mostly obsolete in the high-tech workplace.

Today’s worker-replacement robot is the Flippy burger cook which now functions in a real restaurant. In fact, one interesting headline was Flippy the burger-making robot has started its shift.

Below, the robot cooks the meat while the human assembles the burger.

The robot can handle 150 burgers per hour, and it costs around $60,000.

Update: the media coverage of Flippy brought more business than was expected, and the human workers couldn’t keep up. So Flippy has been put on leave until production can be worked out.

Flippy the Burger Flipping Robot is Now Cooking at the Caliburger Fast Food Chain, KTLA, March 5, 2018

A robot named Flippy is now in the kitchen at a fast food restaurant called Caliburger in Pasadena. We were there for a preview event where Flippy made us some lunch.

Your next fast food burger might be cooked by a robot!

Flippy is a brand new, burger flipping robot now cooking at a chain called Caliburger, which serves up California style burgers and fries.

“The key to success in the restaurant industry is consistency. So anytime you go to a Caliburger anywhere you know that the patty will be cooked exactly the same,” said John Miller, CEO of Cali Group, the company that runs the chain.

The robot was developed by a subsidiary called Miso Robotics.

So how does it work? Before Flippy can get started, it needs a little human help. A co-worker puts raw patties on the grill.

“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 chief executive officer of Miso Robotics.

Flippy uses thermal imaging, 3D and camera vision to sense when to flip – and when to remove.

“It detects the temperature of the patty, the size of the patty and the temperature of the grill surface,” explained Zito.

The device also learns through artificial intelligence – basically, the more burgers that Flippy flips, the smarter it gets. Right now, cheese and toppings are added by a co-worker.


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