Simple, laborious jobs that were formerly a staple of basic human life are apparently getting closer to disappearing, at least when it comes to working for corporations that can afford new robotic technology.
Recently, a burger flipping robot named Flippy began working at a California fast food restaurant. It’s kind of strange how these robots keep getting “cute” names.
It was engineered and constructed by a little known company called Miso Robotics.
— Miso Robotics (@misorobotics) September 20, 2017
Working alongside other regular employees, Flippy started working in Pasadena, California at CaliBurger this week.
Its role is what you’d probably expect from an early prototype of a burger cooking robot, something that could have been conceived in a person’s imagination since the invention of robotics. It flips burger patties, removes them when they are cooked, and then places them on buns. Then a regular employee puts the rest of the burger together.
Flippy is being promoted as the very first burger flipping robot in the world, a “six-axis robotic arm with a spatula on the end,” according to Digital Trends.
The capabilities of this robot might actually be a little exceptional. It can apparently flip up to 300 burgers per hour, and promotion from Miso Robotics claims that it can cook each one “perfectly and consistently.”
It actually monitors the burgers as they cook using thermal, 3D, and regular cameras. Human employees have the ability to watch the burgers on a screen as the robot cooks them.
This is the photo of the display screen released by the company:
According to Digital Trends:
“The robot’s technology also ensures that it knows when to switch from using a spatula for raw meat to one for cooked meat, a vital feature that no burger-flipping robot can be without if it’s to have a meaningful future in the fast food industry.
Taking its food hygiene skills to the max, the $60,000 robot can even clean spatulas while cooking, and wipe the surface of the grill with a scraper.”
CaliBurger has plans to install Flippy robots in over 50 separate locations around the United States. Last month they received an influx of $10 million in funds, contributing to a total $14 million they have received. That is a strong sign that someone or some entity with money wants this technology.
The source of this funding is a little difficult to research. Acacia Research Corporation delivered $10 million to them. If you research them, not much comes up. One article from 2010 calls the corporation the “mother of all patent trolls.”
Now we can be aware that in the near future, the progression of this will continue and more events will occur on what we can look at as a timeline. Eventually, these autonomous fast food robots will start putting the extra stuff on the burger instead of just flipping patties. Maybe then, robots will take orders and clean the floors. We’re really not far from that.
Fortunately for us, our jobs being taken might just inspire people to stop devoting all their labor and power to build hierarchical type structures. Maybe more people will start their own restaurants and people will support them.
Hopefully when the robots take our jobs people decide to band together and run our own independent businesses.
Images: CaliBurger.com/Miso Robotics.