Remember Flippy, the burger-flipping robot in Pasadena, California that debuted and retired all in one day? Well, Flippy is back to work at Caliburger and has been streamlined and improved, and he promises to deliver your burger efficiently and promptly.
According to David Zito, the top executive of Miso Robotics, in this USA TODAY story, Flippy can now move like a Ninja and is more dependable. Originally, Zito persuaded Caliburger that this $100,000 robot could substitute for cooks in the kitchen, who would often leave employment after a few days because standing over the grill was too hot. Additional benefits were that Flippy didn’t take breaks and could work in tandem with humans, who prepared the patties before Flippy cooked them and assembled the final products.
However, demand was high at Flippy’s initial outing and problems soon appeared. There were not enough trained human workers to keep up with Flippy, and the robot sometimes had trouble placing the cooked burgers into the tray. Zito says that Flippy can see better now and is placing the burgers correctly.
Since early May, Flippy has been flipping burgers again at Caliburger and is working seven days a week for several hours a day. The day the reporters visited, the lines at the restaurant were shorter than previously, but public interest was still present and had brought many patrons in to order food and have their picture taken with Flippy.
Several customers expressed to the reporters that they were excited to see the robot in action because of hearing predictions about robots since their childhoods and that they were impressed with the quality of Flippy’s job performance. However, Zito made sure to say that no one had lost their jobs to Flippy and that humans were required to work alongside the robot. Caliburger is set to place 50 more robots in restaurants across their chain by 2019.