In early 2018—18 whole months before I founded The Takeout’s official Robot Beat—my predecessors premptively rejoiced at the “failure” of Flippy, the burger-cooking, French fry-frying, and “definitely not evil” A.I. robot. Its public debut was an absolute disaster, with Flippy becoming quickly overwhelmed by orders and breaking down before its shift was over. Oh, what simpler times those were! Back then, we could delude ourselves into thinking that it would be years before the robots posed a serious threat, forgetting that robots literally devote 100% of their time working towards their ultimate goal: total fast food domination.
By 2019 it became clear to us at The Takeout that we could put nothing past the robots, because much like human babies, they quickly grow up and start destroying everything in their paths. By 2020, Flippy successfully infiltrated White Castle, and within months, it was a valued employee. And now, after a relatively silent 2021, Flippy has spawned. This unholy robo-progeny is named Flippy Wings, and it’s already taken a major step toward the full-fledged subjugation of the chicken wing industry.
Miso Robotics, the leading producer of disembodied mechanical arms which will most certainly never use their powerful grip to strangle a part-time assistant manager, has announced it is now in cahoots with Inspire Brands, the company behind Arby’s, Sonic, Dunkin’, Baskin Robbins, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco, and Buffalo Wild Wings. The mega-restaurant group recently welcomed it’s first Flippy Wings unit, dubbed “Wingy” by the kitchen team, to its Innovation Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where it is currently being tailored and tuned to specifications. Once Wingy’s education is complete, it will be installed at Alliance Kitchen, Inspire’s ghost kitchen concept, to gain some real-world experience before infiltrating a standalone Buffalo Wild Wings location next year.
Like its burger-flipping big brother, Wingy uses AI vision to identify food, which it then picks up, drops into a deep fryer, and deposits into a hot holding area. Miso Robotics swears that Wingy is actually making restaurants safer, by eliminating several hot touchpoints, decreasing spillage, and keeping error-prone humans away from giant vats of scalding oil.
Of course this all sounds like a good idea... for now. Three years ago Flippy couldn’t hack it, and now look at it, a toddler among robots, on the precipice of changing the world. Miso Robotics hasn’t revealed any specific details, but with Wingy’s tucked away in Wingy’s birth announcement, the company revealed it has “several other pilot agreements with leading national brands in place,” and teases that there will be more partner and product announcements by the end of the year. Robot Beat will do what it can to prepare us all for the inevitable, because it’s clear that the Flippy Army can not, and will not, be stopped.