Meet Flippy, Sippy and Chippy: these robots can cook fries, pour drinks and make tortilla chips

From creating perfectly cooked fries and burgers to pouring soda without any spills, robot chefs are venturing further into America’s $296 billion fast food industry amid a nationwide labor shortage.

Miso Robotics, a California-based company, has built a food robot called Flippy that can cook 300 burgers a day and then make fries with the second version.

In May, fast food chain Wing Zone signed an agreement with Miso to install Flippy 2 in all future restaurants. Jack in the Box is rolling out that same machine with the company’s Sippy bot — which quickly pours, labels and seals drink orders — this year with the goal of entering 10 high-volume locations in 2023.

From creating perfectly cooked fries and burgers to pouring soda without any spills, robot chefs are venturing further into America’s $296 billion fast food industry amid a nationwide labor shortage

Miso Robotics, a California-based company, built a food robot called Flippy that was capable of cooking 300 burgers a day, then expanded to making fries with the second version.

Miso Robotics, a California-based company, built a food robot called Flippy that was capable of cooking 300 burgers a day, then expanded to making fries with the second version.

Jack in the Box is rolling out that same machine this year with the goal of entering around 10 high-volume locations in 2023

And Miso has another machine called Chippy that can cook Chipotle’s tortilla chips — which will be integrated into a Southern California location of the Mexican restaurant this year.

The robots – which have been in development for six years – use a combination of cameras, artificial intelligence and predictable, mechanized movement to perform repetitive tasks that service workers might find boring or worse. Flippy, Chippy and Sippy never need a break and don’t complain about working conditions.

However, restaurants that want Flippy 2 have to pay $3,000 a month to rent a food processor and that’s on top of the installation cost.

“We realized that for a robotic solution to be a real solution for our customers, it had to have a very high return on investment for the customer. Which meant it had to take a significant amount of work off the table,” Miso Robotics CEO Mike Bell told the Washington Post.

Above: The company's Sippy robot, which quickly pours, labels and seals drink orders, in action

Above: The company’s Sippy robot, which quickly pours, labels and seals drink orders, in action

The National Restaurant Association reports that 65% of restaurant owners say finding workers is their biggest problem.

The National Restaurant Association reports that 65% of restaurant owners say finding workers is their biggest problem.

The National Restaurant Association reports that 65% of restaurant owners say finding workers is their biggest problem.

Amid the aftermath of the pandemic and ongoing worker protests, the industry faces demands for higher wages and more benefits, a push to unionize and downtowns still recovering. which have been decimated by the Covid closures.

Even without robots being widely deployed in America’s 200,000 fast-food outlets, many chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks, already have contactless kiosks or mobile payment options that bypass the human interaction.

“With over 100 new stores in our current development pipeline, our technology roadmap relies heavily on strategic partnerships with companies like Miso, a pioneer in food automation,” said David Blooom, COO of Wing Zone, in a statement.

At a Jack in the Box in Chula Vista, California, even with Flippy installed, there were still about two dozen employees working at any given time. And there are times when the machine malfunctions.

When the bot started “acting weird, jerking and hanging” as it placed a row of tacos in a special metal tray, a robot support specialist from Miso is available to help the jack-in-the-box worker. the Box to solve the problem.

“This is an enhancement, not a replacement,” Ali Nemat, Jack’s vice president of operational services, told The Washington Post. “Our fryer is promoted and Flippy is their assistant.”

“This is an enhancement, not a replacement,” Ali Nemat, Jack’s vice president of operational services, told The Washington Post. “Our fryer is promoted and Flippy is his assistant”