The job market just got smaller with the latest from tech start-up Miso Robotics, a burger-flipping robot named Flippy -- and it has been installed at CaliBurger in Pasadena, California (video below).
If testing goes well in Pasadena, the kitchen assistant will be installed in 50 additional locations by the end of 2019, according to Fortune.
“Much like self-driving vehicles, our system continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time,” David Zito, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics, said to The Telegraph.
Flippy uses feedback-loops that will reinforce good results, improving with each burger flip. Unlike an assembly line robot that needs to have everything positioned in an exact ordered pattern, Flippy’s machine-learning algorithms allow it to pick uncooked burgers from a stack or flip those already on the grill, according to ZME Science.
Zito stated that Flippy's abilities extend further than flipping burgers; the proprietary AI software also allows kitchen assistants to be trained to help with almost any dull, dirty or dangerous task in a commercial kitchen. The AI is said to be capable of cutting vegetables and final plating, tasks that would typically performed by a sous chef or kitchen aide.
With the help of cameras and sensors, Flippy only needs the worker to place the condiments where the robot can detect them -- and it takes the job from there, according to The Telegraph.
Flippy isn't the only technology-driven change that could threaten jobs. Red Robin restaurants introduced self-ordering tablets to their locations. The model allows a customer to order at their table without help from a server --or skip the dine-in environment altogether with pre-ordering and pick-up options, according to Nation's Restaurant News.
Olo CEO Noah Glass said to Fortune magazine: "61 percent of all restaurant industry transactions are not for food that's consumed at the restaurant." The dwindling of dine-in customers along with the drive for faster food service such as the technology provided by Miso Robotics, is going to lead to a massive decline in restaurant personnel.
CNN noted that, according to a report by PwC, 38 percent of jobs in the U.S. are at high risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years.
Flippy is currently working at a CaliBurger in Pasadena, California. For now, not all humans have been eliminated from the kitchen. The hope is that the robot eliminates most or all of the safety hazards that come with standing over a hot grill all day, according to a statement from Miso Robotics and reported by Pasadena Star News.
Sources: ZME Science, Fortune (2), The Telegraph, Nation's Restaurant News, CNN, Pasadena Star News / Featured Image: Ahardeefortm/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Stefou!/Flickr, Miso Robotics via ZME Science