Economy

Burger-Flipping Robot Suspended After Just One Day On Job

Burger-Flipping Robot Suspended After Just One Day On Job

While workers of the world worry about a dystopian future in which robots take their jobs, at least one sector of the workforce can relax a little -for now- as Flippy, the appropriately named burger-flipping robot, has been taken off the job after only one day.

A product of Miso Robotics, a robotics and artificial intelligence solutions company, Flippy's aim is to revolutionize commercial kitchen operations.

Inundated with customers eager to see the machine in action this week, Cali Group, which runs the fast food chain, quickly realized the robot couldn't keep up with the demand.

Anthony Lomelino, head of technology at Cali Burger, told USA Today that kitchen staff needed to learn to "choreograph" their movements around the motions of the mobile, spatula-fitted arm which Flippy uses to cook.

Flippy made its debut this week at CaliBurger, a fast food restaurant in Pasadena, California.

Flippy only started manning the grill at the CaliBurger restaurant this week.

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Flippy has been switched off at the CaliBurger grill while its human helpers also receive a crash course in how to work efficiently alongside the robot, USA Today noted. "When you're in the back, working with people, you talk to each other".

The firm had said previously that Flippy could cook as many as 2,000 burgers a day.

Flippy won't be late for work, and he won't show up with stains on his uniform. The robot is created to take burger orders through a digital ticketing system, then flips the burger patties and removes them from the grill. A sign says it will be cooking again "soon", but hasn't revealed an exact date. He can also clean spatulas while cooking and wipe the surface of the grill with a scraper. While these workers might leave because of low wages, the industry as a whole spends about $3.4 billion annually in recruiting and training. "Our mission is to improve working conditions of chefs and line cooks with assistants, not replace them". About 80 percent of job losses in American manufacturing over the past 30 years, for example, were the result of technological displacement, and recent studies indicate that the pattern will spread across other industries.

Caliburger has a six-month exclusive period with the $60,000 (£45,000) robots before other chains are allowed to purchase them.

It is designed with a 6-axis robotic arm and cameras and sensors to see its environment.


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