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Flippy
Flippy the burger-flipping robot still needs human co-workers. (Miso Robotics Photo)

First the robots proved they can do back flips, now they’re flipping hamburgers.

Flippy, the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant, made his public debut this week and will begin working alongside humans at a CaliBurger restaurant in Pasadena, Calif.

A product of Miso Robotics, a robotics and artificial intelligence solutions company, Flippy’s aim is to revolutionize commercial kitchen operations. To start, the robotic arm will do that by flipping burger patties during lunchtime and removing them from the grill when they’re cooked to order.

Flippy won’t be late for work, and he won’t show up with stains on his uniform. He won’t take too many breaks during a shift or ask to leave early so he can go see “Black Panther” for the third time. He also won’t be able to place raw burger patties on the grill himself or add cheese, so, rejoice fast food teenagers, there’s plenty of work still to be done.

According to a news release, Miso Robotics developed Miso AI, a cloud-connected learning platform that powers industrial robotic arms. Combines 3D, thermal and regular vision, Flippy can automatically detect when raw burger patties are placed on the grill and monitors each one in real-time throughout the cooking process.

Flippy can also switch cooking tools, using separate spatulas for raw and cooked meat. He can also clean spatulas while cooking and wipe the surface of the grill with a scraper.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my incredibly talented team for their hard work in bringing Flippy to life and we are just getting started,” said David Zito, co-founder and chief executive officer of Miso Robotics. “Our mission is to improve working conditions of chefs and line cooks with assistants, not replace them. Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant knows how hard the work is and the value of extra hands and that’s exactly what we built.”

Miso partnered with CaliBurger in 2016 to develop a cost-effective solution using robotics in an existing kitchen layout to perform a variety of cooking tasks alongside staff.

No word on whether Flippy will be asked to clean, should he find himself with time to lean.

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