Robots aren’t just for high-tech jobs anymore.
One machine in Los Angeles was designed to lend a hand in the kitchen.
Flippy is a 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,” said the restaurant’s owner, John Miller. “So anytime you go to a CaliBurger anywhere you know that the patty will be cooked exactly the same.”
“The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots,” said David Zito of Miso Robotics which developed the robot. “It detects the temperature of the patty, the size of the patty and the temperature of the grill surface.”
Before the robot begins its task, it needs a little human help.
A worker puts raw patties on the grill.
The robot uses thermal imaging, 3D and camera vision to sense when to flip and remove the patties.
Each burger cooks for about four and a half minutes.
The device learns through artificial intelligence and the more burgers Flippy flips, the smarter it gets.
Cheese and toppings are added by a coworker.
CaliBurger is testing Flippy out in just one store before rolling him out to its other locations.
It’s important to get it right, because Flippy doesn’t come cheap at $60,000.
In addition to consistency and safety, CaliBurger said the system can cut down on costs.
“It’s not a fun job,” Miller said. “It’s hot, it’s greasy, it’s dirty.”
Less turnover means less time training new grill cooks.
“This technology is not about replacing jobs,” Zito said. “We see Flippy as that third hand.”