Robots enter the restaurant business

Emma Elceser, Social Media Manager

Americans have recently developed a fear that robots will start to take all of their jobs, and a restaurant in Pasadena, California is slowly bringing this fear to life. Caliburger has a robot by the name of Flippy manning its grill. “It’s not a fun job,” says John Miller, chief executive officer of Cali Group. “It’s hot, it’s greasy, it’s dirty.” The job wasn’t enjoyable for human employees and wasn’t worth the wages they were making, so the group found a solution.

Luckily for them, Flippy doesn’t seem to care too much about his working conditions or the money he is making. The restaurant also doesn’t have to worry about giving the robot benefits or too many working hours in a week. It was reported that Flippy can cook around 150 burgers per hour. For Caliburger, this decision is turning out to be both cost effective and efficient.

“The kitchen of the future will always have people in it,” states David Zito, co-founder and chief executive officer of Miso Robotics, the company who worked with Caliburger on using Flippy in the kitchen. “But we see that kitchen as having people and robots.”

Flippy cannot currently do everything on its own. It needs a coworker to put the patties on the grill and to add any needed toppings at the correct time.

However, Flippy is different from the burger bots people may have been hearing about. The robot uses artificial intelligence to learn as it completes tasks. This will allow for improvement the longer it is doing the job, similar to the expectations of any human employee.

There are many different attachments that Flippy can use, similar to the tools a human would hold when operating a grill. Each of these allows it to properly prepare the orders coming in. The robot is able to change its own tools whenever necessary while on the job.

While Caliburger has the rights to Flippy for six months, anyone else may buy it after this time. Although this is the only current restaurant with a robot employee, this may be something Americans will have to start getting used to when dining out.