Burger-flipping robot “Flippy” temporarily shut down

Tech

The robot can flip and remove burgers from the grill, change and clean its spatulas during use, and scrape down the grill when necessary.

Anyone who is afraid of the robot uprising, or robots stealing all of our jobs can breathe easy for a little while at least. After much fanfare for its burger-flipping abilities, “Flippy” the burger-flipping robot has been at least temporarily shut down. The main culprit? Speed. Though it may just be that Flippy was a victim of its own success. Visitors flocked to see the robot in action, which proved too much for the poor robot to handle.

On paper, Flippy might seem like a fast food manager’s dream come true. After a one-time payment there are no hourly wages, no insurance co-payments, no sick days or vacation time, and the robot won’t up and quit after a few weeks realizing it isn’t getting paid particularly well. That was probably entirely too cynical, there’s also the fact that a robot isn’t going to accidentally get burned, won’t get tired, and will perform its duties to an exacting degree as long as it is in operation.

In the instance of Flippy though, the robot couldn’t quite do everything on its own, and needed a worker present to handle quite a few of the operations that really make a burger a burger. Flippy cannot, for example, place the meat patty down on the grill itself, it can only flip and then remove those patties. It also cannot add toppings or condiments because its name isn’t “Cheesy” or “Ketchupy” it’s Flippy. In a lot of ways Flippy is a bit of a sideshow but the workers are still really the ones creating your burger. The robot can, however, change and clean its spatulas during use as well as scrape down the grill when necessary.

The Caliburger where Flippy is installed promises that the robot will be back in action soon, and that part of the challenge will be training employees to work alongside Flippy. Anthony Lomelino, CTO for Cali Group, the restaurant’s owners, told USA Today:

Mostly it’s the timing. When you’re in the back, working with people, you talk to each other. With Flippy, you kind of need to work around his schedule. Choreographing the movements of what you do, when and how you do it.

It maybe seems like if it’s going to be that disruptive to add a robot to your kitchen, maybe you just want to hold off and not add it to your kitchen quite yet. What do you think about Flippy getting temporarily shut down? Tell us all about it in the comment section below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Chicago Tribune
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