When you order French fries or onion rings at one of 10 White Castle locations, a robot may help prepare the food. White Castle announced it is expanding the use of Flippy Robot-on-a-Rail (ROAR) to more locations in the United States. The decision came after the company successfully tested the autonomous grilling and frying kitchen assistant in one restaurant.
“Artificial intelligence and automation have been an area White Castle has wanted to experiment with to optimize our operations and provide a better work environment for our team members. We believe technology like Flippy ROAR can improve customer service and kitchen operation,” Lisa Ingram, CEO of White Castle, said.
Miso Robotics, the creator of Flippy ROAR, explains that the robot can glide across multiple workstations on a rail, which makes it easy to store and use. Flippy ROAR relies on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to cook food in a restaurant. It can identify both the temperature and type of food it is cooking.
“Capable of identifying current temperatures, predicting time remaining to meet consistency in taste perfection, and alerting staff of unsafe internal cooking temperatures, ROAR features powerful image processing and depth perception from Intel RealSense technology,” Miso Robotics said.
White Castle plans to use Flippy ROAR as a kitchen assistant to help staff during night shifts. In addition, the robot makes it easier to socially distance the workers because of the coronavirus pandemic, and customers get a contactless fry cook that cannot carry disease.
The company is tracking the robot’s production speeds, which reach an average of 360 baskets of fried food per day. Since the start of the test pilot in one White Castle location, Flippy ROAR has cooked 14,580 pounds of food in 9,720 baskets.
From Flippy’s humble beginnings as a hamburger flipper at CaliBurger and promotion to working at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the robot continues to evolve and change. One thing remains the same: Flippy cannot run a kitchen on its own and still needs humans to finish a customer’s order.
Flippy ROAR is an example of how robots and people can coexist in a restaurant. With robots taking over the mundane and more dangerous tasks in a kitchen, humans can focus on other areas.
Source: Forbes – Business