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Meet Flippy, the burger-flipping robot

LOS ANGELES, CA — Robots aren’t just for high-tech jobs anymore. A new machine debuted in Los Angeles this week, designed to lend a hand in the kitchen.

Flippy is a brand new, burger flipping robot now cooking at a chain called CaliBurger, which serves up California style burgers and fries.

Restaurant owner John Miller said, “The key to success in the restaurant industry is consistency. So anytime you go to a CaliBurger anywhere you know that the patty will be cooked exactly the same.”

The robot was developed by a subsidiary called Miso Robotics.

A human actually has to put raw patties on the grill.

David Zito with Miso Robotics said, “The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots.”

The robot uses thermal imaging, 3-D and camera vision to sense when to flip and remove the patty from the grill.

“It detects the temperature of the patty, the size of the patty and the temperature of the grill surface,” said Zito.

Each burger cooks for about four and a half minutes. Flippy only has to turn them once and it learns through artificial intelligence.

Basically, the more burgers Flippy flips, the smarter it gets. Cheese and toppings are added by a human co-worker.

In addition to consistency and safety, CaliBurger said the system can cut down on costs.

Miller said, “It’s not a fun job. It’s hot, it’s greasy, it’s dirty.”

Less turnover means less time training new grill cooks.

“This technology is not about replacing jobs. We see Flippy as that third hand,” said Zito.

The robot costs $60,000. CaliBurger will test Flippy out in just one store before rolling him out to its other locations.


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