Miso Robotics announced yesterday that Flippy, the burger cooking robot, is officially going to work at CaliBurger’s Pasadena location. Additionally, Miso announced that its robot kitchen assistants will soon be coming to sports and entertainment venues, thanks to the company’s partnership with sports and entertainment hospitality company Levy.
According to the press announcement, Flippy will start out working the lunch shift at CaliBurger. Using a combination of thermal imaging, visual recognition and artificial intelligence, Flippy can tell when a raw burger is ready to be flipped, when it’s cooked to the proper temperature, and when to take it off the grill.
Flippy uses two different spatulas — one for raw and one for cooked meat — and can also scrape the grill. Humans aren’t completely cut out of the cooking process (for now), as they are still needed to apply cheese and other toppings. Though, as Flippy gets smarter, its capabilities will expand.
According to TechCrunch, a Flippy robot will set a restaurant back $60,000 plus an annual 20 percent recurring fee for learning and maintenance. That’s pretty pricey for an employee that only works the lunch shift, but Miso says companies can earn that back through decreased wait times and less food waste. Plus, robots can create a more consistent product, won’t call in sick, need a break, or walk off mid-shift in a huff.
Flippy and its robotic brethren will also be expanding beyond CaliBurger. Through its partnership with Levy, Miso’s robotic kitchen assistants will be headed to convention centers and sporting events, with the first appearance coming later this year to an unnamed Levy venue. This expansion follows Levy’s participation in Miso’s $10 million fundraise last month.
Flippy officially going to work means we’re one step beyond “the robots are coming” and more towards “the robots are here!” In fact, the restaurant industry believes robots will become mainstream by 2025.
It addition to Flippy, CaliBurger has also rolled out self-ordering kiosks that let you pay with your face, reducing the need for staff in the front of the house. Elsewhere, companies like Eatsa and Chowbotics are helping automate even more dining experiences.