The robots may or may not be coming for all of our jobs. But, it seems, one specific robot has already come for some of them in California.
The aptly named Flippy, a burger-flipping robot, has officially made its debut at a Pasadena, California fast food restaurant, according to a press release. And this Flippy is only the first. The chain, CaliBurger, plans to outfit 50 of its locations with similar robots.
Flippy uses a suite of technology, including thermal imaging, 3D sensors and camera visions, to know exactly when to flip a burger. It’ll also use machine-learning. Basically, the robot will get smarter the more it flips burgers.
The result is a much more consistent and safely made burger, CaliBurger told KTLA. The robot also cuts down on the cost to train new workers — which is an issue considering the high turnaround of grill-manning employees.
It’s not perfect quite yet, however. Flippy can handle about 12 burgers at once, but a human is still needed to place the raw patties on the grill, as well as add cheese and toppings. According to the BBC, Flippy also makes mistakes that “no human would,” owing to the current lack of refinement in its AI.
Flippy was created by Miso Robotics, a firm focused on creating technology platforms for the restaurant industry. Each Flippy robot costs about $60,000 and requires another $12,000 a year to run and maintain.
But even with the consistency and safety, Miso Robotics is quick to do away with visions of a restaurant future devoid of human hands.
“The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robotics,” said David Zito, CEO and co-founder of Miso Robotics. “This technology is not about replacing jobs — we see Flippy as that third hand.”
Robot manufacturers maintain that new jobs will replace those lost to robotic systems, but no one seems to know what kind of jobs those might be, the BBC reported.
Learn More: This Site Warns You If Robots Will Take Your Job