Miso Robotics has announced the public debut of Flippy, the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant. Flippy has begun working alongside kitchen staff at CaliBurger’s Pasadena, California location by flipping burger patties and removing them from the grill when cooked to order.
Aiming to augment commercial 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, it 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 understands the many challenges restaurants 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 an existing commercial kitchen layout and to serve alongside kitchen staff to safely and efficiently fulfil a variety of cooking tasks.
John Miller, chairman of Cali Group, added, “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.”
“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than working on something so challenging that also has the potential to be impactful,” said Dr Ryan Sinnet, co-founder and chief technology officer of Miso Robotics. “Our team poured their hearts into getting Flippy ready to cook for people and I’m so proud of the grit we displayed to accomplish this in record time.”
However, it's not all been plain sailing, as reports have emerged that Flippy has had to give its spatula a temporary rest while staffing issues are worked out. Anthony Lomelino, chief technology officer for Cali Group told USA Today, "While Flippy held up its end of the deal, the restaurant is short of humans to prepare the patties for the grill..."