Burger robots to appear at 50 locations

Burger robots to appear at 50 locations
(Tech Xplore)—We have been treated to a generous amount of stories announcing new advances in assembly-line robots and home-assistant robots. Smartened up with cameras and artificial intelligence, it looks like time to focus on a new breed of kitchen robots. Reports are in about how they may truly impact the restaurant trade.

Might robots prove so cost efficient and reliable that restaurant employers replace a significant number of workers with these robots?

It looks as if a marker is in the wings, with the announcement that robots called Flippy will be installed in 50 CaliBurger restaurants worldwide.

The CaliBurger patty-flipping robots are expected to roll out and replace human workers flipping burgers.

Sage Lazzaro in Daily Mail said CaliBurger began testing the machine earlier this year.

The team behind the robots is Miso Robotics, and a video back in March showed Flippy in action.

"Miso Robotics was founded in July, 2016 by Rob Anderson, Ryan Sinnet and David Zito as a robotic kitchen assistant developer. The company is focused on using (AI) and automation to solve the high pain points in restaurants and food preparation," wrote Mike Uy in Pasadeno Now.

Miso Robotics on their company site describes Flippy as a kitchen assistant and shows a video with Flippy in action.

Wait, one may say, that is risky, using a robot when humans can judge the quality of their flip moves.

Thing is, Flippy is not that dumb. ZME Science: "Flippy uses feedback-loops that reinforce its good behavior so it gets better with each flip of the burger. Unlike an assembly line robot that needs to have everything positioned in an exact ordered pattern, Flippy's machine learning algorithms allow it to pick uncooked burgers from a stack or flip those already on the grill."

Flippy can be installed in less than five minutes, said a video caption.

(An integrated system that sends orders from the counter back to the kitchen informs Flippy just how many raw burgers it should be prepping, said ZME Science.)

The robot is fitted with a 6-axis arm. As ZME Science explained, it has one arm and with six axes, has "plenty of freedom of motion" for performing tasks.

Back in March, TechCrunch described how its features do the job and where humans come into the picture.

"Among other functions, Flippy grabs unwrapped burger patties, moves them into position on a hot grill, keeps track of each burger's cook-time and temperature, then alerts human cooks when it's time to apply cheese or other toppings. Flippy plates burgers but doesn't wrap them or add finishing touches like lettuce, tomatoes, avocado or a restaurant's signature sauce."

So if Flippy is so adept to burger making, the question on customers' minds, as well as workers, is what is to become of the employees who do the same? As in most -human labor debates, there is one side calling for less panic and more thought on how displaced workers can be moved to other types of jobs as a result.

Miso Robotics CEO David Zito on CBSSacramento said, "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."

"While many people worry that automation will eliminate jobs, Miller said new jobs will be created. There will be a need for engineers, management, installation and support of these systems," wrote Elliot Maras in FastCasual. (John Miller is chairman and CEO of the Cali Group.)

ZME Science made the point that we might see a number of industry types undergoing change as a result of robotics: "...it looks like a whole different ball game. Artificial intelligence and robotics are disrupting multiple industries at the same time. Vehicles, health, law, food. You name it."

According to a July 6 release, "Miso Robotics plans to roll out its AI-driven robotic kitchen assistant in early 2018 and expand to more than 50 CaliBurger restaurants worldwide by the end of 2019."

© 2017 Tech Xplore

Citation: Burger robots to appear at 50 locations (2017, September 16) retrieved 16 December 2018 from https://techxplore.com/news/2017-09-burger-robots.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
426 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Sep 16, 2017
The CaliBurger patty-flipping robots are expected to roll out and replace human workers flipping burgers....

"Miso Robotics plans to roll out its AI-driven robotic kitchen assistant in early 2018 and expand to more than 50 CaliBurger restaurants worldwide by the end of 2019."


I've never seen or heard of a CaliBurger before now, but I don't intend to patronize them based on this article.

Many of the robots being developed and deployed today are not being developed and deployed because they do a job better or faster than a human being. In many cases as with the CaliBurger robot, the robots can only be used if a human being oversees what the robot is doing. The sole purpose of such robots is to reduce or eliminate human workers.

Companies seeking to eliminate their workers should lose their clients.

Sep 16, 2017
I watched the video and one of the things that leaped out at me was there were very few burgers on the grill, compared to a normal fast food place where nearly every square inch of grill is covered in cooking burgers. If the production rate of burger's per sq/inch of grill space is much lower than what operators see today, extra costs in capital plant and the energy costs of heating all that unused space will be a killer.

Sep 16, 2017
The robot requires lots of space to allow the two half cylinders on either side of the burger to pick it up/flip it.

Sep 16, 2017
"The sole purpose of such robots is to reduce or eliminate human workers."


That's what you get for setting the minimum wage too high.

Not all jobs should pay a "living wage", and not all people need the same minimums to live. Jobs like fast food are for college kids - they're not "career" jobs you should even expect to build a house on.

The main problem is that people are moving to cities for the services they offer, but cities don't actually produce wealth - they consume it. There they have to work dead-end jobs like flipping burgers because there's nothing else to do.

Fast food is a luxury product that is unhealthy for both you and the economy because it's wasting labor and resources for a triviality. However, with minimum wages, the price signal is distorted which causes people to make bad life choices and get stuck in cities where they can't produce more wealth for themselves. The minimum wages are just band-aid to an axe wound.

Sep 17, 2017
Eikka,
"That's what you get for setting the minimum wage too high."

That is certainly a large incentive for businesses to turn to robotics. I have always been against setting any minimum wage. Wages should be set by the market. When you artificially set a minimum wage well above the market value, you essentially eliminate entry level employment, that is, people just entering the job market. You also cause people who were working for the prior wage but who are not worth the new minimum to be fired.

But these job eliminating robots are not just being deployed in high minimum wage areas. Automation is being pushed into wide geographic areas and in many jobs where minimum wages are not a factor.

Sep 17, 2017
Anybody who's seen the movie Fast Food Nation would want people as far away from their food as possible.
https://youtu.be/xWiKEWn2H98

Sep 17, 2017
I am underwhelmed by much, as shown, especially its lack of speed and human dependency. The job it is demonstrating takes a person parts per second to maintain awareness and continue production AND they do all the rest of the job. I'll be ready for robotic service when it surpasses human capabilities. If manifest robotics are subpar they should not be employed, but continue to be developed until they seem flawless.

If a fast food 'burger stand' could be reduced in footprint to be occupied by this, then I would expect it to sanitarily prepare, cook, plate, and even serve a burger in such record time that I can't help but think positively about its existence and purpose. Perhaps even analytics telling it what to prepare before I even get near enough to speak out an order. No warming rack or heat lamp suspension, just incredibly fresh and flavourful convenience.

Sep 17, 2017
"As in most robot-human labor debates, there is one side calling for less panic and more thought on how displaced workers can be moved to other types of jobs as a result."

The classic 'handwave' response which in reality rarely if ever works out.

As the technology improves, increasing taxation and regulations will only accelerate the AI/robot economic revolution. When the prols get more and more restive about the lack of jobs, politicians will try to 'regulate' the use of robots.... gl with that.

Sep 18, 2017
"If manifest robotics are subpar they should not be employed, but continue to be developed until they seem flawless."

-Well then we should demand the same level of performance from humans, don't you agree?

Or we can begin to accept robots when they are simply better and/or more economical.

And in order to recoup lost revenues we can pay them directly just as we do the humans they will be replacing.

And we can also tax them immediately which will increase efficiency and eliminate enormous waste from corruption and incompetence.

These tax revenues are currently flowing into the pockets of owners. We should demand that it be stopped, and emancipating the machines is the best way to do it.

Unlike humans we can know exactly how much work they do, materials they use, upkeep they require, and so forth. Their relative worth can be determined in far greater detail and more importantly, without human input.

Sep 18, 2017
Eikka,
"That's what you get for setting the minimum wage too high."

That is certainly a large incentive for businesses to turn to robotics. I have always been against setting any minimum wage. Wages should be set by the market. When you artificially set a minimum wage well above the market value, you essentially eliminate entry level employment, that is, people just entering the job market. You also cause people who were working for the prior wage but who are not worth the new minimum to be fired.

But these job eliminating robots are not just being deployed in high minimum wage areas. Automation is being pushed into wide geographic areas and in many jobs where minimum wages are not a factor.


the real problem does not come from the workers who get replaced .. it is more for the higher paying jobs in human resource, management and supervisory position ..who you will need less of these jobs.. the fewer people who do real work you need .

Sep 19, 2017
These machine learning algorithms all go back to the days of W. Edwards Deming's revolutionary assembly line continuous improvement feedback. Only the Japanese welcomed it.

Sep 20, 2017
One shouldn't forget that burger flipping robots and "automats" were a thing 100 years ago because the people considered waiters and other service-personnel superfluous and annoying.

http://www.atlaso...taurants

Oct 24, 2017


the real problem does not come from the workers who get replaced .. it is more for the higher paying jobs in human resource, management and supervisory position ..who you will need less of these jobs.. the fewer people who do real work you need .


The real problem does not come from the workers who get replaced by machines, or the tiers of managers who once managed them also being effectively replaced by repairmen, it comes from the fact that the people who walk in the front door of the restaurant to buy the burgers have been replaced by hobos sitting out on the sidewalk begging for change because their jobs have also been replaced by robots.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more