White Castle, the famous American food chain is reportedly testing a burger grilling robot named Flippy which has the potential to change the whole food industry, according to CNN.
On Wednesday, the privately owned food chain confirmed a collaboration with Miso Robotics, a company headquartered in Pasadena, California, to launch Flippy, an automated chef assistant, at one of its locations in Chicago in September.
“We are excited to bring the future into our restaurants with technologies that will reshape the food industry and make the White Castle experience all it could be for future generations,” White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram said in a statement.
An earlier prototype of Flippy, using artificial intelligence to determine when to flip a burger, was tested in 2018 at CaliBurger’s Pasadena location. White Castle bets that this latest version will decrease the amount of work spent on the grilling and frying processes.
Flippy’s presence in a big fast food chain is renewing concerns and worries in the restaurant industry about robots.
As per Miso, fast-food robotic workers might limit the risk of food-borne pathogens by utilising thermal imaging to identify when the meat is undercooked. They will also help to restrict the exposure of human employees to food, thereby reducing the likelihood of transmitting disease.
Automation, however, ultimately raises concerns about robots taking jobs away from people. White Castle’s statement did not directly explain whether Flippy would likely overtake human workers, only claiming that staff members would be freed to concentrate on consumer service and front-of-house processes.
Jamie Richardson, White Castle’s Vice President of Shareholder Relations, informed the TechCrunch news website that it is not Flippy’s intent to decrease the number of staff, but instead to save on food costs.
For now, we will have to wait and see if Flippy can pass tests and start working as a burger grilling employee in White Castel.