A burger-flipping robot may be coming to a White Castle near you

The chain is planning to bring Flippy 2 to 100 more locations.

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Flippy 2 by Miso Robotics
Miso Robotics

You can count burger-flipping robots as one pandemic innovation that’s here to stay. White Castle announced today that it will be bringing Flippy 2, a robot chef that can essentially perform the same tasks as a team of fry cooks, to 100 more locations this year. This amounts to roughly a third of White Castle restaurants nationwide, so it’s likely Flippy may become a permanent addition to this burger chain’s workforce.

Last fall the burger chain first teamed up with Miso Robotics, the makers of Flippy, to launch a pilot program in its Chicagoland location. The company then unveiled Flippy 2, the latest iteration of the chef robot, back in November. Now it appears that the robot chef is ready for prime-time.

It’s unlikely the average White Castle patron will notice the new robots when they first arrive. Since Flippy 2 is designed to perform “back-of-the-house” kitchen functions, that’s where you’ll find them. The robot uses AI to identify the type of food (such as burgers, chicken fingers, or fries), picks it up, cooks it, puts it in its own fry basket and finally puts it in a hot holding area.

But it’s possible your White Castle order may come out slightly faster than usual. Flippy 2 can dole out 60 baskets of food an hour, according to Miso Robotics’ website, or roughly 300 burgers a day. Unlike the earlier model, Flippy 2 can operate entirely without human intervention.

Miso Robotics is primarily crowdfunded; the company raised more than $50 million with more than 15,000 investors and is currently in its Series E funding round.

It’s no secret we’re in the middle of an AI-enabled cooking revolution. Miso Robotics has come out with a wing-making version of Flippy which Buffalo Wild Wings is currently testing, according to CNBC. Since robots also minimize human contact in the kitchen, they’re also used as a pandemic safety measure. Beijing is even using robot chefs to feed athletes and guests in its closed Winter Olympics bubble. It’s likely we’ll see more robotic innovations popping up in the restaurant industry, especially given recent labor shortages.

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