‘Flippy’ the burger-flipping robot has been taken offline after working just one day at a fast food restaurant in California.
Flippy was supposed to revolutionise the industry, but was overwhelmed after hungry fans flocked to the restaurant to get a glimpse of it in action.
“We came out to CaliBurger Pasadena to see Flippy in action. A bit disappointed that, despite all the recent news about this burger-flipping robot, it’s just sitting here, not flipping,” patron Tom Fassbender said on Facebook.
A sign placed in front of the robot didn’t say when it would be back up and running, but according to Cali Group’s chief technology officer Anthony Lomelino, it shouldn’t be long.
He told USA Today that the problem actually rested with staff at the restaurant, who would need extra training to keep up with Flippy.
But in a statement to the BBC Flippy’s creator, Miso Robotics, said it was testing the robot’s code to make sure it could cook quickly enough during peak times.
According to Miso Robotics, Flippy can flip between 150 and 300 burgers every hour.
It uses 3D and thermal scanners to monitor the raw patties, and once they’re done, starts the burger assembly process for staff.
Critics say the robot will put fast-food kitchen workers out of a job, but Miso Robotics’ CEO David Zito says that’s not the ultimate aim.
“Our mission is to improve working conditions of chefs and line cooks with assistants, not replace them,” he said.
“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.”
Despite the setback, Cali Group plans to install Flippys in “multiple” restaurants this year.