Good news, everyone! A weakness has finally been uncovered in our future robot overlords. Sure, we’ve been nervous about driverless cars and robot waiters that appear ready to take over humanity at any moment. But this week, a refreshing news story emerges, as Flippy, the burger flipping robot, has been fired for being too slow. BURN! How do you like them apples, cylons?
Like most new employees, Flippy was undoubtedly excited (as excited as a robot can get) to start its new job at a Pasadena Caliburger, aiming to flip 150 burgers an hour:
But as The Washington Post reported, “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.” It’s a tale as old as time: So many people crowded in to see the amazing burger-flipping robot, Flippy soon became overwhelmed by the demand and failed to keep up on the line.
Flippy can more specifically be described as “a specialized industrial six-axis robotic arm bolted to the kitchen floor… 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.” The restaurant has temporarily moved Flippy to the bench as it reconfigures how the robot will best function alongside its human coworkers.
One of the people behind Flippy, David Zito, co-founder and chief executive of Miso Robotics, told KTLA in Los Angeles, “The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots.” Sure, that’s just what those verging-on-AI-types want you to think—until the inevitable takeover begins.