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Burger-flipping robot decommissioned

by THE WASHINGTON POST | March 10, 2018 at 1:00 a.m.

He was supposed to revolutionize a California fast food kitchen, churning out 150 burgers per hour without requiring a paycheck or benefits.

But after a single day of working as a cook at a Caliburger location in Pasadena this week, Flippy the burger-flipping robot has stopped flipping.

Inundated with customers eager to see the machine in action this week, Cali Group, which runs the fast food chain, quickly realized the robot couldn't keep up with the demand. They decided instead to retrain the restaurant staff to work more efficiently alongside Flippy, according to USA Today.

With the robot temporarily decommissioned, patrons encountered a sign Thursday noting that Flippy would be "cooking soon," the paper reported.

"Mostly it's the timing," Anthony Lomelino, the chief technology officer for Cali Group told the paper. "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."

The robot is designed to take burger orders through a digital ticketing system, then flips the burger patties and removes them from the grill. It uses thermal and regular vision, as well as cameras, to detect when the raw meat is placed on the grill, then monitors each burger throughout its cooking process. But those worried about a robot takeover of food-industry jobs can find comfort in knowing that Flippy still needs a human guide to place the patties on the grill.

Business on 03/10/2018

Print Headline: Burger-flipping robot decommissioned

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