When at the beginning of March Miso Robotics, a leading robotics and artificial intelligence solutions company announced the public debut of their autonomous robotic kitchen assistant “Flippy”, nobody expected that Flippy’s career will be so short-lived.
On March 5, Flippy was appointed a grill cook in a fast food restaurant in California, where he provided an extra hand in preparing and cooking meals for the day.
However, after just one day on the job, the six-axis robot arm was given time off.
The news about the cooking robot spread so fast and widely that Flippy couldn’t keep up with the demand that it generated in the restaurant. Flippy was deemed too slow to meet the made orders even though the Flippy developers boasted of the machine’s ability to grill as many as 2,000 patties a day.
Flippy is a cost-effective and highly efficient solution that combines AI and the most recent advancements in technology. It has been “designed to operate in an existing commercial kitchen layout and to serve alongside kitchen staff to safely and efficiently fulfill a variety of cooking tasks.“ The machine uses AI and combines it with 3-D, thermal, and regular vision which allow it to automatically detect when raw burger patties are placed on the grill and monitors each one in real-time throughout the cooking process.
The idea of a robotic kitchen assistant was born in 2016, when Miso Robotics (misorobotics.com ) declared its partnership with CaliBurger, Cali Group’s restaurant operating division. Miso is on a mission to leverage AI technology and revolutionize the restaurant and prepared food industries.
According to a report presented by the Washington Post, about 50 % of fast-food restaurant staff leave within a year after taking a position in a restaurant.
“It’s not a fun job – it’s hot, it’s greasy, it’s dirty”, said John Miller, the CEO of the Cali Group, which runs the international CaliBurger’s fast food chain, while acknowledging the important role assumed by Flippy in an industry that is constantly challenged by high employee turnover.
The Miso team of roboticists, engineers and industrial designers have been working on innovative solutions that can streamline the operations in the sector, improve the working conditions of chefs and line cooks with assistants and also the profitability of the businesses that utilize such technological solutions.
David Zito, co-founder and chief executive officer of Miso Robotics shared that the Miso team has put lots of effort to improve the working-working conditions of chefs and line cooks with assistants, not to replace them. Whether robots will be really able to replace humans one day yet to be seen.