Miso Robotics’ Flippy ROAR — that’s short for Robot-on-a-Rail — showed promising results in its pilot with White Castle, enough for the burger chain to sign on to deploying the robot in 10 more locations. The companies announced their collaboration back in July, just as restaurants were forced to limit staff to ensure social distancing while keeping up with the increasing demand for delivery and take out orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Back in September, they formally started a pilot program to test Flippy at one White Castle location, and the machine has helped serve 14,580 pounds of food and over 9,720 baskets since then.
The burger chain will install the commercially available version of Flippy ROAR that was launched earlier this month into its kitchens. It expects Flippy to free up time for human staff members, so they can take care of logistics and customer service, and to help keep 24-hour locations running. The ChefUI software that powers Flippy can also be integrated with delivery apps to sync an order’s completion with its pick-up time. Meanwhile, the machine’s sensors and cameras can keep eye on inventory and recommend bulk orders for supplies when needed.
White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram said in a statement:
“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. This pilot is putting us on that path – and we couldn’t be more pleased to continue our work with Miso Robotics and pave the way for greater adoption of cutting-edge technology in the fast-food industry.”
The companies don’t have a list of stores and an exact deployment schedule yet, but they said Flippy robots will arrive in the 10 locations they choose in 2021. They believe the robot’s deployment will “accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence and robotics in the restaurant industry,” especially as a solution to tackle new challenges brought about by the pandemic.