Robots in the workforce is a controversial topic. While machines come with many benefits — they never get sick and only need breaks for maintenance, for example — they come with a big downside: the potential to take over “unskilled” jobs, leaving many without work. One of those jobs is burger flipping, the stereotypical example of a position at risk. Here to fill the role is Flippy, a burger-flipping robot that has started work.
Flippy was introduced to the public last year by Miso Robotics, the company that created it. Miso announced a partnership with burger joint CaliBurger in early 2017, which had committed to introducing Flippy in 50 of its restaurants in coming years. The first of those Flippy robots started working in CaliBurger’s Pasadena, California location today.
The version of Flippy demonstrated last year (above) featured an arm with a round “scoop” on the end that cupped the patty, then flipped it. The latest version of the robot is different, replacing the scoop with a flat square spatula. The end result is the same, though — efficiency, decreased wait times, a greater consistency, and more.
The robot removes the burden of flipping burgers from human cooks who can otherwise concentrate on preparing the ingredients, assembling the burgers, putting them on serving materials, and interacting with the customer. Because the robot works endlessly and efficiently, it is said to speed up delivery rates, benefiting the customer as well.
In addition to the first Flippy going live in Pasadena, Miso Robotics has announced a new partnership with entertainment and sports company Levy, which it says will be using the company’s robotic assistants for helping kitchen staff prepare food. It isn’t clear when the company will start utilizing the robots, however, nor when they’ll go live.