US-based company Miso Robotics has begun trials for a new burger flipping robot that could potentially revolutionise the fast food industry.
Dubbed Flippy, the 'robotic kitchen assistant' has been developed partly thanks to financing from CaliBurger who will be using Flippy in at least 50 of its restaurants over the next two years.
The robot consists of a six axis robotic arm, and a sensor bar that can determine the doneness of a burger, whether it has cheese or not, and if the buns are toasted or not. It can be installed in front of or beside any standard grill or fryer, and takes in data from the sensor bar - which includes 3D and thermal sensors, as well as a number of different cameras to accurately read the grill. Flippy receives orders from a digital ticketing system.
Once an order is made, Flippy quickly gets to work. The arm grabs an unwrapped burger patty, places it over a hot grill, keeps track of its cooking time and lets human cooks know when it's time to put cheese on top or any other necessary toppings. Flippy can then put the finished burger to one side, for a cook to add sauces, tomatoes and any other particulars about the order.
One unique aspect of Flippy is that it has the ability to learn to make new foods, so it's not simply limited to cooking a particular type of burger at any one time, and can be told to alter the cooking time or where the burgers are to be placed.
"We focus on using AI and automation to solve the high pain points in restaurants and food prep," said Miso Robotics CEO and co-founder David Zito. "That’s the dull, dirty and dangerous work around the grill, the fryer, and other prep work like chopping onions. The idea is to help restaurants improve food quality and safety without requiring a major kitchen redesign."