Flippy, the fast-food robot who makes fries at White Castle, gets an upgrade

The new version of Miso Robotics' cooking robo-arm doesn't need as much human help.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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The new and improved Flippy 2 system helps protect restaurant workers from hot oil. 

Miso Robotics

You can't keep a good robot down. Flippy, a burger-flipping robot that famously got (temporarily) suspended from a job for cooking meat patties too quickly, is making new moves in the restaurant industry. On Tuesday, Miso Robotics announced a sleeker, more independent version of the robot: Flippy 2.

Burger chain White Castle took an original Flippy for a fry-making test drive at one of its Chicagoland locations, and Miso Robotics used feedback from that pilot program to improve its machine. "Flippy 2 takes over the work for an entire fry station and performs more than twice as many food preparation tasks compared to the previous version including basket filling, emptying and returning," Miso Robotics said in a statement.

Watch this: Robots that cook: Meet today's robot chefs

Flippy 2 is part of a robotic kitchen revolution that involves handing cooking chores off to machines, including ones designed to act like in-home personal chefs

The older Flippy required a couple of humans to help it on either side of where it labored over hot oil. Flippy 2 is more independent and uses AI to identify the food (such as fries, onion rings or chicken tenders). It then picks up the basket of food, fries it for the correct amount of time and places it into a holding area to keep warm.

The new robot is smaller, easier to clean and faster than its predecessor. Miso sees Flippy 2 as a co-worker that handles the potentially dangerous job of frying and frees up humans to tackle other tasks.

Flippy 2 and robots like it may become more common behind the scenes in fast-food restaurants, especially if the US labor shortage lingers. Miso even has a wing-making robot in the works. Want to guess its name?

It's Flippy Wings, but you can call it "Wingy" for short.