Automation is coming, there’s no way around it. The cost benefit to business owners is too great. Robots never call out sick, they never complain about not getting a break, and they only rarely try to overthrow their human masters. The question now, is can we adapt and keep up to the change before the machines realize that they don’t actually need us around?
At Caliburger in California, Flippy the burger flipping robot was put into action this week in his very own kitchen. After just two days, they had to pull the cyber sous chef from the front lines. It wasn’t because he was squirting ketchup on the humans and yelling: “Soon, Soon!”. No, the problem was that the human workers at the restaurant just couldn’t keep up with him.
While Flippy held up its end of the deal, the restaurant is short of humans to prepare the patties for the grill and then pile on the lettuce and other fixins’, said Anthony Lomelino, chief technology officer for Cali Group. For now, there’s no robot for those tasks.
The robotic arms of “Flippy’s Kitchen” is still on static display at Caliburger. The stage where patrons would normally line up for a peek was dark when USA TODAY visited Thursday, and there was little sign that Flippy would be coming back, but just when was “TBA” — or to be announced. The restaurant was operating without the robot using its regular, human-run kitchen.
Now the question is, will they dial back the speed on $100,000 Flippy, so the humans can keep up, or will they do away with the meat puppets all together and invest in more T-1000’s?