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.
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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?