Are you one of those people who works in the “Fast Food” industry who feels like you're somehow underpaid, and deserves the often demanded $15 an hour in pay?
Well, you're likely going to be replaced then.
Introducing Flippy, the “Fast Food” burger-flipping robot. You may not want to meet him though, because he's going to be replacing those of you demanding the ultra high wages.
Yes, you were warned this day would happen, and now the artificial intelligence robot has arrived.
You should have listened. You could have prevented this. Now it's too late. It's happening.
You want sauce with that?
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For decades now technocrats and scholars alike have warned that the demand for low-skilled jobs will drop to incredible depths following automation and robotics arriving to the scene.
Of course, flipping burgers is undoubtedly on the robot overlord menu, as CaliBurger among other restaurants have been testing these technologies for quite some time now successfully.
The fast-food restaurant chain is now building its own presence all over the United States, but also in countries like China, Sweden, Qatar or Taiwan, said it will introduce a burger robot in fifty of its locations.
The new technological achievement and kitchen assistant, known as ‘Flippy’, was designed by a startup firm called Miso Robotics which says it specializes in “technology that assists and empowers chefs to make food consistently and perfectly, at prices everyone can afford.”
The robot resembles a push cart on wheels which has one arm and no legs. It sits on an axis of six possible motions, which ensures that the arm also has plenty of freedom of motion so that the robot can perform a variety of tasks.
Miso Robotics actually claims this robot is more comparable to a self driving car than as an assembly line machine, due to its advanced nature.
Flippy is built using what Mido calls feedback-loops that ensure its “good behavior” so that it learns and becomes more efficient with each flip of the burger, so it essentially can perform the different styles of tasks that restaurants will vary in using.
Typical assembly line robots need to have everything positioned in an exact ordered pattern in order to operate correctly, but Flippy’s machine learning algorithms allow it to pick uncooked burgers from a stack or flip those already on the grill, similar to how a human would do it.
Equipped with high level hardware such as premium cameras, Flippy is able to both see and navigate its surroundings while sensors inform the robot when a burger is ready or still raw on the grill.
Flippy also has an integrated system that sends orders from the front counter at restaurants back to the kitchen automatically where Flippy will immediately begin cooking an order as it's placed to speed up service.
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Miso says its engineers spent months working on Flippy’s algorithms in order to flip burgers to get in the right mindset to perform the proper tasks. This makes Flippy one of the most advanced robotics to be used in a restaurant to date.
While Flippy is intended to be a kitchen assistant and can’t replace human workers entirely, it would still require a human or two inside of the restaurant to take orders (which can be replaced by a kiosk), and it would require at least one human to be on duty in the store (a manager perhaps) in case or fire hazards as most local laws wild permit.
Still, Flippy does essentially replace the grill cooks or food line workers. A manager could simply stock Flippy every few hours with the burgers necessary and allow him to cook, then come and wrap the product when it's done and serve it.
Miso says Flippy is in the process of learning those tasks too, however, which makes Flippy able to receive updates in the future to do even more.
Another company, Momentum Machines, has been working on its own burger bots for several years now and claims that it will be introducing these additional steps into its machines’ routine.
Soon enough, human presence in the burger grilling kitchen may in fact he superseded entirely by robotics and technology.
Miso also says that it's not just burgers that Flippy could manage, Flippy is capable of preparing other dishes like fish, chicken, vegetables, pizza, pastas; and more.
Due to both the compact size and adaptability of the device, the machine can be installed in any restaurant’s kitchen already without worry for additional services.
According to the CaliBurger chain, Flippy bots will be installed in at least 50 CaliBurger restaurants around the world in the next two years alone.
A Pasadena restaurant is already using Flippy full time to benefit its brand and says it's been successful so far.
In the United States of America alone there are a whopping 2.3 burger cooks currently employed. Miso’s CEO admits their product will put people out of jobs, but is honest about it.
“Tasting food and creating recipes will always be the purview of a chef. And restaurants are gathering places where we go to interact with each other. Humans will always play a very critical role in the hospitality side of the business given the social aspects of food. We just don’t know what the new roles will be yet in the industry,” the company’s CEO and co-founder David Zito said.
If all of those jobs become automated, nobody has any idea what will happen to all these displaced jobs, except that there will be a lot of unemployed people.
There are hundreds of tech startups which are competing daily for this market, and they have little regard for the workers they'll be displacing as a result of the advancements.
To be honest though, it's not the tech sector's responsibility to worry about those people either. It makes both economical, ergonomical, and just plain wise business sense to switch to the less whiny robotics.
Henry Ford was given massive praise he flooded the market with millions of Model-Ts, pulling horse and buggies out of the streets at the time, so this is really no different.
Artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation are the future. Many tech geniuses have warned about this, alongside suggesting the federal government should be implementing taxation on AI in order to save jobs, and the government, completely out of touch; simply hasn't listened.
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ROUGH #'s & "ASSUMPTIONS"
Assuming 10 hrs of operation a day (10A-10P)
FLIPPY ASSUMPTIONS - -
Assuming a $50k Flippy unit cost. (Internet search of actual cost could not be found )
Assuming maintenance costs of 10% per unit p/ yr = $5k
Assuming 1 worker/mgr/owner needed for 10 hours per day to monitor and clean up, feed the system supplies, and etc.. @$8.25 p/hr.
Rough Operational Cost $50k + $5k + $30K = $85K
$15 STAFF - (plus related employment costs) —-
Assuming 10hrs p/day x 2 staff x 365 days @ $18.25 ($15 plus employee related Fed, State, Misc related taxes, clothing, training, benefits, and misc costs) =$66. K
Year 1 startup costs will exceed Staff costs.
Year 2 Flippy Operational Costs are about $35K vs Staff costs of about $66K .
Year 2 and out Flippy saves about $31K per small shop operation.
So startup costs are initially higher, but future operations are lower and less of a headache.