CaliBurger, a chain of worldwide hamburger restaurants, announced that it will begin employing robotic chefs to flip and cook burgers beginning in 2018.
The robot, named "Flippy," is capable of flipping burgers and placing the meat on a bun at the perfect temperature.
According to a video demonstration of Flippy, the robot can be installed in a kitchen within five minutes, and has sensors and cameras to see what it is flipping. The robot also has artificial intelligence software.
"Much like self-driving vehicles, our system continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time," said David Zito, CEO of Miso Robotics. "Though we are starting with the relatively 'simple' task of cooking burgers, our proprietary AI software allows our kitchen assistants to be adaptable and therefore can be trained to help with almost any dull, dirty or dangerous task in a commercial kitchen — whether it's frying chicken, cutting vegetables or final plating."
Rather than replacing chefs in the kitchen, Flippy will work alongside the restaurant's staff. While Flippy's job is to grill and flip meat, a human will still be in charge of topping and serving the burger.
"The application of artificial intelligence to robotic systems that work next to our employees in CaliBurger restaurants will allow us to make food faster, safer and with fewer errors," said John Miller, Chairman of Cali Group. "Our investment in Miso Robotics is part of our broader vision for creating a unified operating system that will control all aspects of a restaurant from in-store interactive gaming entertainment to automated ordering and cooking processes, 'intelligent' food delivery and real-time detection of operating errors and pathogens."
CaliBurger has 36 locations worldwide, including eight in the United States.