Burger-making Robot, 'flippy,' That Cooks The Perfect Patty Every Time Set To Replace Human Workers
Posted: Sep 14, 2017
The robot is fitted with a 6-axis arm and a claw-like tool to grab and flip burgers
It uses AI to determine when they're done and alert staff to finish preparation
It will launch in 50 CaliBurgers sooner than expected after a $3M investment
It is a scenario that brings us one step closer to a robot-run world.
Flippy, the artificial intelligence-driven robot that can 'cook the perfect burger every time,' will replace human workers in 50 CaliBurger restaurant locations in 2018.
The California-based restaurant chain began testing the machine - fitted with a 6-axis robotic arm it uses to flip burgers and place them on buns - earlier this year.
An artificial intelligence-driven robot is said to 'cook the perfect burger, every time.' Called Flippy, the machine is fitted with a 6-axis robotic arm, which it uses to flip burgers HOW DOES IT WORK? Flippy is an artificial intelligence-driven robot that can flip burgers on a grill and then place them on a bung once they are done cooking.
It is designed with a 6-axis robotic arm and cameras and sensors to see its environment.
The robots arm is fitted with a claw-like tool that opens at the end, allowing it to grab the patty on the grill and flip it over without dropping it.
Flippy also alert the human worker when it is time to add the cheese or other toppings.
Its software lets it distinguish between different meats on the grill and when they are done cooking.
'We are excited about the impact Miso's AI-based solutions will have for the restaurant industry,' Miso CEO David Zito told CBS about the new announcement.
'Humans will always play a very critical role in the hospitality side of the business… We just don't know what the new roles will be yet in the industry.'
He added that the robot will likely push workers out of their current jobs.
Flippy is the brainchild of Miso Robotics and can assist in the kitchen, flipping burgers and placing them on buns.
'Flippy is an AI-powered robot that works in tandem with kitchen staff,' Zito told DailyMail.com in March, when the company began testing the robot at a CaliBurger in Pasadena.
'It functions as an assistant and intuitively knows when to flip burgers and then places them on buns when ready.
'Flippy is the first in our series of adaptive robots that will create smarter, safer and more efficient commercial kitchens.'
It was originally expected that Flippy would be hired in the 50 CaliBurger locations for 2019, but a large round of funding made it possible to move up the start date.
In July, Miso Robotics - which was co-founded and funded by Cali Group - received $3.1 million in funding from strategic investors, including Acacia Research and Match Robotics VC.
Flippy is the brainchild of Miso Robotics, which will employ the robot at 50 CaliBurgers, a restaurant that makes 'California style burgers' in 14 countries
'While the biggest companies in the world are focused on using computer vision and artificial intelligence to drive cars and manage the home,
Cali Group will facilitate and lead the adoption of these emerging technologies in the restaurant and retail industries,' said John Miller, Chairman and CEO of Cali Group, at the time of the funding announcement.
According to the National Association of Restaurants, consumers are spending more on food outside the home than ever before. Yet despite rapid growth, the restaurant industry is plagued with inefficiencies.
In 2016, turnover of restaurant workers reached an all-time high at 113 percent.
However, the integration of Miso Robotics into CaliBurger's kitchens will allow the chain to redeploy some of its staff to the dining room to engage more with customers.
CaliBurger will also collaborate with Miso Robotics to retrain certain staff to operate Flippy.
It was originally expected that Flippy would be hired in the 50 CaliBurger locations for 2019, but a large round of funding made it possible to move up the start date
Flippy has sensors and cameras that it uses to see its environment – it can also distinguish between different meats, buns and which patties are done cooking using its AI-powered software
'The application of artificial intelligence to robotic systems that work next to our employees in CaliBurger restaurants will allow us to make food faster, safer and with fewer errors,' said John Miller, Chairman of Cali Group.
'Our investment in Miso Robotics is part of our broader vision for creating a unified operating system that will control all aspects of a restaurant from in-store interactive gaming entertainment to automated ordering and cooking processes, 'intelligent' food delivery and real-time detection of operating errors and pathogens.'
Although many may look at this burger flipping robot and question the security of their jobs, it is important to understand that Flippy is a 'kitchen assistant' – not a full-on robotic chef.
Flippy is designed to do exactly what his name says – flip burgers on the grill and then onto a bun once they have finished cooking
'We started with a grill cook assistant because this position is among the hardest to hire, the hardest to train and turnover is very high,' Zito told DailyMail.com.
'This is a big pain point for restaurants that Miso Robotics can help solve.
Food is inherently social. 'Restaurants are the gathering place we go to interact with other humans. This will never go away.
'Humans will always play a role in the restaurant of the future, even if we don't yet know exactly what that role will be.'
Miso Robotics shared that it takes less than five minutes to install Flippy. It is attached to a cart that is easily rolled around from place to place
'It could be working in the kitchen in a different capacity or front of house engaging with customers.'
Human workers do everything from place the patties on the grill to topping them with cheese and then finishing them off with other condiments and dressings.
Flippy is designed to do exactly what his name says – flip burgers on the grill and then onto a bun once they have finished cooking.
However, Flippy does alert the human worker when it is time to add the cheese or other toppings.
The robot's arm is fitted with a claw-like tool that opens at the end, allowing it to grab the patty on the grill and flip it over without dropping it.
The tool can be replaced with other detachable items such as grippers, tongs and scrapers.
Flippy only flips burgers on the grill, tells cooks when to add cheese and other toppings and then places the finished burger on a bun to be dressed by a human worker
Human workers do everything from place the patties on the grill to topping them with cheese and then finishing them off with other condiments and dressings
Miso Robotics shared that it takes less than five minutes to install Flippy, and it has sensors and cameras that it uses to see its environment – it can also distinguish between different meats, buns and which patties are done cooking.
There is also a digital system that accompanies the robot that sends orders from the counter back to the robot. 'Flippy cooks the perfect burger – every time,' according to the firm