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How CaliBurger's Flippy the Burger Flipper May Start the Trend of Robots Replacing Fast Food Workers

Mar 31, 2017 09:40 AM EDT
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Fast food remains to be one of the highest-earning industries in the market. With a very lucrative job market in play, every move that industry giants make is very sensitive, which is why it's a surprise to see renowned fast food chain CaliBurger employ a robot named Flippy the burger flipper.

According to Forbes, Flippy does a "simple" task of cooking and preparing burgers. However, the robot's inner artificial intelligence software allows it to be "trainable" and adaptable, which means it can be set to perform other dirty or dangerous tasks in a commercial kitchen.

Using cameras and sensors, Flippy can check if a burger is fully cooked or not. It's up to a human worker to add condiments and other proper arrangements. Flippy is the creation of tech company Miso Robotics.

The Telegraph notes that Flippy the robot will be introduced in other CaliBurger branches by next year, with at least 50 of their nationwide outlets to be equipped with the robot by 2019.

Miso Robotics CEO David Zito acknowledges that this new product may indeed put a lot of people out of work. However, Flippy will replace what the fast food industry considers as the most repetitive job in the field.

Despite the concern about Flippy ending employment in some positions, reports say that those that will still have their jobs will earn more as Flippy will take the bulk of automation work. Automating the process will make the remaining labor to be done in a "productive" nature, which means higher wages that can go up to $15 per hour.

However, overall effects of the so-called "robot revolution" has not been fully analyzed as it is happening right before our eyes. Regardless, it seems both industry leaders and laborers have to adjust to the changing economic landscape. 

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