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The Robots are Coming– And They are Flipping Burgers!

Robot-burgerIf you’ve ever had to work in the service industry, then this next story is for you.

A new team of engineers in San Francisco has designed and implemented a burger-making machine, and according to Singularity Hub, it has the potential to revolutionize the fast food industry.

The team is called Momentum Machines and is made up of engineers and physics gurus from all over California. Each member of the team has work experience ranging from Tesla to NASA and they are looking for even more talent to come join in their vision of burgers without boredom.

Momentum Machines says their machine, which is more like a “burger assembly line” than a burger flipping robot, can do everything regular employees can do—only better. It slices toppings, insuring the freshest ingredients possible. It also gives the patty that perfect char, while keeping in the juices (something that you would find in a gourmet kitchen), and it can crank out close to 360 burgers an hour. Good-bye lunch rush, hello delicious!

The real benefit of this machine is that it provides savings in cost. Momentum Machines states that the average fast food joint spends $135,000 a year on burger line cooks. By replacing human cooks, the machine reduces liability, management duties and, at just 24 square feet, the overall food preparation footprint. Resources once dedicated to preparation can instead fund better service, like gourmet ingredients sold at fast food prices.

Now, this may sound like everyone’s worst fear come true—the robots are coming to take our jobs. While the burger-bot hasn’t taken anyone’s job (yet), Momentum Machines is clearly sensitive to the concern. “We want to help the people who may transition to a new job as a result of our technology,” says cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas, “and the best way we know how is education.”

As new technology destroys one kind of job, it creates opportunities for others. We’ll need fewer line cooks, says Vardakostas, but more engineers and technicians. Momentum Machines wants to help ease the move by partnering with vocational schools to offer discounted technical training for anyone displaced by their robot. They don’t want to force anyone out of a job completely.

We’ve mentioned a lot of stories here on the blog about jobs in engineering and manufacturing, and it seems like Momentum Machines has the right mindset for implementing their robot into the real world. For them, ‘fast food’ no longer has to be a dirty word. The burger-bots are coming, and we think the net job hiring and results over the next few decades will be very positive.


Photo credit: Singularity Hub

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