The fast food industry’s workforce is most at risk of being replaced by robots. Flippy is one such example.
Miso Robotics Inc, based in Pasadena, has begun shipping its Flippy 2 robot, which automates the process of deep frying potatoes, onions, and other foods.
A giant robotic arm, similar to those used in car manufacturing plants, pulls frozen French fries and other foods from a freezer, dips them into hot oil and deposits the ready-to-eat product into a tray.
Flippy 2 can cook multiple meals with various recipes simultaneously, decreasing the need for catering workers and, according to the company, accelerating order delivery at drive-through windows.
“When an order comes in through the restaurant system, it automatically spits out the instructions to Flippy,” Miso chief executive Mike Bell said.
“It does it faster or more accurately, reliably, and happier than most humans do it.”
The robot fry cook has been developing for five years and is now ready for purchase.
Miso engineers could observe Flippy 2 robots in real-time on a large screen, allowing them to troubleshoot any issues that arise.
According to Mr. Bell, several restaurant brands have adopted the robot, including Jack in the Box in San Diego, White Castle in the Midwest, and CaliBurger on the West Coast.
He claims that three other major US fast-food companies have put Flippy 2 to work but are unwilling to publicize it because of concerns that robots are replacing humans.
“The task that the humans are most happy to offload are tasks like the fry station … They’re delighted to have the help so they can do other things,” he said.
Mr. Bell said that one day, people will “go into a restaurant and look at a robot and say, ‘Hey, remember when humans used to do that kind of thing?'”
“It’s coming … it’s just a matter of … how quick.”