Well, it wasn’t “fired,” but it became quickly overworked, so the restaurant shut it down. If you’re confused as to what I’m talking about, I’m referring to “Flippy” the burger flipping robot who was put in place by a burger chain (CaliBurger) in LA. It was just placed on “extended break” by the restaurant. Here’s a video about the robot when it launched:
Well, after the news got out that the robot was on the job, thousands of people fled to the restaurant to get a robo-burger, and there were some issues. First of all, the robot actually worked out surprisingly well, but the problem started when trying to integrate with the human co-workers. A big part about working in a kitchen is communication. You have to know when your co-chefs are ready for certain things, what they’re working on, and what they need next. With Flippy, it doesn’t communicate. It just flips burgers. And it flips and works fast. The human workforce couldn’t keep up with taking orders, preparing patties, and building the burger – there were just too many orders coming in.
The bot is still standing in front of its grill, but it’s idle, powered off, and blocked by a sign that says Flippy will be coming back soon. The restaurant is figuring out how to train the human-employees on how to better interact with Flippy and keep up with its speed. As far as how employees feel about the robot, well, the robot will probably take away some jobs in the future, but there will always be something to do. There have to be cashiers, people to open and close the restaurant, clean up, manage, unpack deliveries, the works. A robot flipping burgers is just one part of many that make a restaurant work. How do you feel about a robot flipping burgers? Think it’s a good use of such technology and will produce more consistent burgers faster, or do you think there should be a good ‘ole fashioned person manning the grill? Check out some more info about Flippy the burger flipping robot here.