Meet the robot that could change retail

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Meet the robot that could change retail

By Gina Acosta - 03/05/2018
The robot, named "Flippy," will begin working alongside kitchen staff at CaliBurger’s Pasadena, California location during lunchtime by flipping burger patties and removing them from the grill when cooked to order.

A robotics company in California has created the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant.

The robot, named "Flippy," will begin working alongside kitchen staff at CaliBurger’s Pasadena, Calif., location during lunchtime by flipping burger patties and removing them from the grill when cooked to order.

“The deployment of Flippy in CaliBurger restaurants represents a major milestone in helping our staff produce mouthwatering burgers more consistently and in a timely manner. The ease of integration into our existing kitchen lines will also allow us to quickly install Flippy in more locations nationwide,” said John Miller, chairman of Cali Group.

Aiming to augment commercial retail kitchen operations with advanced technology, Miso Robotics developed Miso AI, a cloud-connected learning platform that powers industrial robotic arms. Miso AI combines 3D, thermal and regular vision to automatically detect when raw burger patties are placed on the grill and monitors each one in real-time throughout the cooking process.

As the patties cook, Miso AI displays the cooking time on a screen that also alerts kitchen staff when to place cheese on top or when to dress a burger. It also enables Flippy to switch from using a spatula for raw meat and one for cooked meat. In addition, Flippy has the ability to clean spatulas while cooking and to 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 Robotics says it understands the many challenges retailers face, including turnover rate and increasing demand for prepared foods.

In 2016, the team partnered with CaliBurger, Cali Group’s restaurant operating division, to develop a cost-effective and highly efficient solution leveraging their expertise in robotics and artificial intelligence. This resulted in the concept for Flippy, which was specifically designed to operate in a commercial kitchen layout and to serve alongside kitchen staff to safely and efficiently fulfill a variety of cooking tasks.