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Thread: Burger flipping robot replaces humans on first day of work

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Burger flipping robot replaces humans on first day of work

    Have a feeling this is going to be highly controversial..

    A burger-flipping robot has just completed its first day on the job at a restaurant in California, replacing humans at the grill.

    Flippy has mastered the art of cooking the perfect burger and has just started work at CaliBurger, a fast-food chain. The robotic kitchen assistant, which its makers say can be installed in just five minutes, is the brainchild of Miso Robotics. “Much like self-driving vehicles, our system continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time,” said David Zito, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics.

    “Though we are starting with the relatively 'simple' task of cooking burgers, our proprietary AI software allows our kitchen assistants to be adaptable and therefore can be trained to help with almost any dull, dirty or dangerous task in a commercial kitchen — whether it's frying chicken, cutting vegetables or final plating.”

    Burger-flipping robot replaces humans on first day at work
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    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    The robots are coming.

    They will be the ULTIMATE 'cheap labor'. They'll work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without complaining. They won't demand coffee breaks or restroom breaks or vacation days or sick days. They won't even demand to be PAID!!
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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Yup and with the advancement of robotics from Japan, they will look like humans too! But seriously, I do wonder what this will do to the whole globalization thing? Will the world become more protective and nationalistic and try to prevent anyone from stealing the few precious jobs left? Basically will the world turn into one full of Trumps and LePens?
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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    The robots are coming.

    They will be the ULTIMATE 'cheap labor'. They'll work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without complaining. They won't demand coffee breaks or restroom breaks or vacation days or sick days. They won't even demand to be PAID!!
    It's a novelty; but it's not the sort of thing that restaurant-owners will rely on. If a restaurant worker calls in sick, the manager makes a few phone calls, and has someone fill in the shift. Or in a pinch, the manager straps on an apron and starts making burgers. In most cases, customers are unlikely to notice.

    If a burger-making robot breaks down, you'd best have plenty of trained humans on-hand, because it's unlikely you're going to have a repaired robot inside of 30 minutes.

    It makes more sense with automobile assembly ... if assembly stops for a few days, it's not going to impact sales. But if a restaurant robot breaks, the effect on customers is immediate.

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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    It's also worth noting that the article is a bit misleading:

    "Burger-flipping robot replaces humans on first day at work" - This suggests that at least one employee lost his job the day the robot started. Nothing in the article indicates this happened.

    Cameras and sensors help Flippy to determine when the burger is fully cooked, before the robot places them on a bun. A human worker then takes over and adds condiments.
    Much less impressive. I worked at a Burger King restaurant back around 1987. We didn't have a "grill" per se. It was a grilling oven, with chain-conveyor endlessly cycling through it. You put the frozen burgers in one end, and they came out fully cooked on the other end. If the machine was capable of dropping the burger onto a bun, it would perform all the functions of the robot described in the article.

    I'd like to know whether the robot is capable of adapting. For example, I expect that all of the burgers it cooks are the same size. If you give it a burger that's 20% smaller, will it be smart enough to make an inquiry? If I give it a burger that was frozen to a much colder temperature, requiring more cooking time, is it looking at the burger to see when it is done? Or is it blindly relying on a timer?

    Again - it sounds like a novelty.
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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    You are assuming that the business only has ONE of Flippy on hand. Right now, "When the burgers are done, it alerts a human cook, who applies the cheese and other toppings." But in the near future, I believe that the order and payment can be taken by a kiosk/tablet. The order prepared by robots. Then delivered to the customer without a human involved. Why wouldn't restaurant chains be interested in Flippy?

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    You are assuming that the business only has ONE of Flippy on hand. Right now, "When the burgers are done, it alerts a human cook, who applies the cheese and other toppings." But in the near future, I believe that the order and payment can be taken by a kiosk/tablet. The order prepared by robots. Then delivered to the customer without a human involved. Why wouldn't restaurant chains be interested in Flippy?
    Our local Panera Bread put in those order/pay kiosks and swore publicly it wouldn't replace humans. Now they have laid off half the staff. Older people seem angry but the younger people love the convenience of not having to wait or talk to people!
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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    You are assuming that the business only has ONE of Flippy on hand. Right now, "When the burgers are done, it alerts a human cook, who applies the cheese and other toppings." But in the near future, I believe that the order and payment can be taken by a kiosk/tablet. The order prepared by robots. Then delivered to the customer without a human involved. Why wouldn't restaurant chains be interested in Flippy?
    Because when Flippy breaks, you're immediately fucked if you don't have trained human staff. Customers aren't going to wait around while waiting for the Flippy repairman show up and get Flippy running again.

    Better to make your humans hustle a bit, while you call Chuck to take over Janice's shift.

    =====

    Don't forget - about 15 years ago, nearly every supermarket installed roughly four self-checkout kiosks. And fifteen years later, virtually NO supermarket has increased their number of self-checkout kiosks.
    Last edited by Djinn; 9th March 2017 at 07:32 AM.

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    Because when Flippy breaks, you're immediately fucked if you don't have trained human staff. Getting a Flippy repairman to your location isn't as easy as calling Chuck to take over Janice's shift.
    Imagine they will have more than one. Restaurants have redundancy after redundancy.

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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    Because when Flippy breaks, you're immediately fucked if you don't have trained human staff. Getting a Flippy repairman to your location isn't as easy as calling Chuck to take over Janice's shift.
    Again, you are assuming that they only buy one Flippy. Keep in mind that people used to mix the batter for the morning's biscuits with a whisk. Now a mixer is standard in every kitchen. You gave the example of the burgers going down a belt. Pizza chains have been doing this for years, too. They used to have a human put them in the oven, check them frequently, and take them out when ready. Now the belt is timed to cook the pizza correctly. Look at self checkouts... One human watching 4, 6, or even 8 check outs at one time.

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