Those fearing that robots may soon be taking over our jobs may want to look away now. There's a new chef in town, and according to the Los Angeles Times, he only makes $3 an hour, and plus, he never goes home.
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This new burger chef is a robot called Flippy, and he's a real wizard in the kitchen. He can do everything from frying chicken fingers to sizzling beef patties. Some might argue he does it even better than humans, as Flippy has built-in sensors to read temperatures.
Flippy, built by Miso Robotics, is the result of decades of research into robotics and machine learning. And he is here now to revolutionize the service economy.
Flippy used to cost more than $100,000 in 2016, but today the robot is available for a mere $10,000 or less. As such, Flippy costs less than a minimum wage worker.
Newer models of Flippy are set to be even cheaper and more efficient. The next version will feature cheaper arms and be mounted on an overhead rail conserving floor space.
Miso Robotics' chief executive Buck Jordan told the times that had Flippy's hardware costs not gone down so significantly, the firm may not have survived.
“We took a bet,” he said. “A risky bet. But it’s paying off.”
Now Jordan believes that Flippies will soon be in fast-food restaurants all across America. But before you start thinking that these robots will be stealing jobs, it should be noted that the restaurant industry has been facing a significant labor crisis.
The Los Angeles Times reports that there were more than 820,000 unfilled restaurant jobs in December 2019. In addition, turnover rates for the industry have climbed to more than 100%.
As such, it could be argued that Flippy is providing a much-needed service without any impact on human job loss. I, for one, am ready to welcome Flippy as my new burger chef. Are you?