Flippy - Hamburger-flipping Robot Assistant
March 13, 2017
Your jaw may not drop over the flipping awesomeness of this robotic arm, but Flippy is a great example of how robots could get a foothold into the workplace.
Most small business owners, like restauranteurs, watch their bottom line closely. Unless they make fiscal sense, robots will have an uphill battle getting full-time employment in small to mid-sized businesses in the United States.
This is not an endorsement by any means, but there is a combination of advantages I see in Flippy, that I have not seen in other robots, in any industry:
The robot arm works with existing cooking equipment. That requires less commitment for the buyer, than a full kitchen robot.
Should the robot decide for logical reasons to stop flipping burgers in the middle of a dinner rush, the burgers can be cooked the old-fashioned human way.
The employees are not immediately replaced by robots. This induces less discord among the human staff. Of course, replacing workers is the meat of a robot owner’s ROI, but apparently, cheese is like kryptonite to robots, especially in a hot kitchen. So, job security for these fast food cooks is like that of an Uber driver in a self-driving car, they are still needed--for now.
Robots might be considered for use in more small businesses, if they offered easy integration, little downtime, and gave employees and the public time to adjust.
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