Robot fry chef Flippy, the fast food-prepping bot created by Miso Robotics, is now available for purchase by eateries, opening up access to a wider audience than ever.
Described as a ROAR (that’s a Robot-on-a-Rail, natch!), the current Flippy robot is capable of whizzing from one kitchen workstation to another with a growing set of impressive culinary skills. Using a depth-sensing camera, it can identify different foods and temperatures, and then carry out the necessary prep work, along with limited grill maintenance tasks. At present, it can cook a reported 19 different food items including — but not limited to — waffle fries, burgers, potato wedges, French fries, popcorn shrimp, chicken wings, and more.
“Our global commercial availability allows operators of chains across the globe to tackle the current challenges of labor and social distancing in a cramped kitchen, low margins due to a shifting trend toward delivery and take out, as well as health and safety concerns, to stimulate growth in an industry facing record permanent closures,” Buck Jordan, president and chairman of Miso Robotics, told Digital Trends. “Flippy can be customized to meet the needs of operators, but the standard install can be done quickly, overnight, to make access to automation pretty instantaneous.”
The robot itself costs $30,000 up front (which can, if required, be financed through time payments). On top of that, there’s an added $1,500 monthly fee to gain access to the necessary A.I. software. While that might seem steep at a time when eateries are struggling, the increased automation could help increase efficiency in the kitchen, meaning more money coming in. Jordan said that the goal is eventually to be able to pull in enough customers that there will be no upfront for the robot, and everything will be packed into a monthly cost. However, until then a $30k buy-in price still represents a major saving on what arm robots cost just a few years ago.
“We believe the news and wide availability of Flippy ROAR will help to increase automation adoption in the market, [which is] really the only path forward in a post-pandemic climate,” Jordan said. “We have seen tremendous excitement from investors who see the opportunity for an A.I. platform, automation, and robotics to lead a new era of growth for quick-service restaurants.”