Aptly named Flippy flips! More specifically, the robotic kitchen assistant from Miso Robotics that just debuted at CaliBurger this week flips burgers. CaliBurger, a global hamburger chain already known for letting people pay with selfies, are now using robots in their kitchen.
Flippy is excellent at flipping burgers, turning up to 300 burgers an hour and cooking each of them perfectly. He does so by monitoring the burgers using regular cameras alongside 3D and thermal ones. Workers can view what Flippy sees to time their activities with when the burgers are finishing cooking. Additionally, Flippy’s robotic arm switches between spatulas when handling raw or cooked meat to reduce the risk of contamination and can even wipe the surface of the grill.
Trying to assuage fears of automation removing jobs, David Zito, Miso Robotics co-founder, said that Flippy aims to “improve working conditions of chefs and line cooks with assistants, not replace them.” Indeed, Flippy’s main focus is cooking burgers and needs workers to make the full burger, among other tasks. According to Miso Robotics, Flippy will be eliminating a lot of tedious restaurant jobs and offer a helping hand to overworked employees: “Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant knows how hard the work is and the value of extra hands and that’s exactly what we built,” added the Miso Robotics representative.
Flippy has been a big success for CaliBurger, who plans on installing the robotic arm in 50 more locations. With Dominos also experimenting with autonomous robots, it seems like restaurant and food service culture are about to change!