Miso Robotics is taking its cooking robot, Flippy, and uhh, flipping it upside down in a bid to bring in more QSR business. Today the company revealed a prototype of its next version of cooking technology dubbed Miso Robot on a Rail (ROAR).
Rather than being fixed to the ground, the new ROAR is installed on a rail above the cooking surface. It still uses a robotic arm to flip burgers and remove fry baskets, but it now glides back and forth overhead.
According to the press announcement, the new ROAR was developed using market feedback from QSRs that wanted more of a zero footprint solution that doesn’t get in the way of busy human cooks. The current iteration of Flippy is stationary, and surrounding the arm itself, there is a safety zone taped around it to keep human limbs way from automated movements. So it can take up quite a bit of space.
The Flippy brain has also been augmented with new cooking capabilities. In addition to grilling burgers, Miso’s robot can fry up chicken wings, onion rings, popcorn shrimp, sweet potato waffle fries, corn dogs and more.
The ROAR won’t be available commercially until the end of this year. In the meantime, Miso also announced that it is introducing an intermediate model that uses a floor-mounted rail system. Nation’s Restaurant News reports that the new ROAR will cost roughly $30,000. This is about half what the first Flippy’s cost, which was ultimately too high a price for a lot of QSRs.
The news of ROAR also comes as Miso Robotics is equity crowdfunding its next fundraise. While Miso has raised $13 million from traditional VCs in the past, the company is now using the SeedInvest platform to try and raise $30 million. Will the new Flippy sway a few more everyday investors?
The Flippy ROAR also comes in a time of flux for articulating robotic arms. Cafe X closed three of its locations, and Zume shut down its robot-assisted pizza delivery service. Other startups, however, are, like Miso, all-in on robotic limbs. Macco Robotics and Robojuice both believe that a more humanoid-like form factor will connect better with customers.
While Flippy is on display at Caliburger in Pasadena, the new ROAR seems more geared towards production and throughput. With a lower price, we’ll have to see if QSRs put in their order for one.