Robots are slowly becoming a normal part of society, so hearing about robot chefs in various American restaurants is far from the most shocking thing ever these days. Unsurprisingly, robot chefs have proven to be a big hit in various American restaurants, particularly fast food ones, and many companies are planning to use more of them in the future.
Built for fast food
Flippy 2 is a robot arm built by Miso Robotics and has already been distributed to various fast food restaurants, including Chipotle, White Castle, and Wing Zone. These robot chef arms are slowly becoming commonplace in North America, with plans to bring Flippy 2 to the Middle East as well. Jake Brewer, Miso Robotics' chief strategy officer, feels that we’ll be seeing more robot chefs in a few years.
"I believe that if anyone wanted to, they could go see a robot working in a restaurant in 2024, 2025," Brewer said. "You can go see robots cooking right now and that's only going to grow week over week."
Dina Zemke, assistant professor at Ball State University, told CNBC that fast food is something robotics should be able to master with no issue. After all, fast food relies on a simple formula that mostly requires reheating and using the same recipe over and over.
"The recipes are highly standardized. And really, it's mostly heating an assembly," Zemke said. "No one's creating just the right secret sauce in the back of the house; all of that is provided through a commissary system."
Robot chefs won’t replace workers
Naturally, a lot of people are worried that robot chefs are going to replace human chefs, seemingly making all those years in culinary school worthless. Chipotle chief technology officer Curt Garner told CNBC that this isn’t the case, saying that robot chefs can handle the more mundane tasks so that the actual chefs can do more important things.
"It started with, 'How do we remove some of the dreariness of a worker standing at the fryer and frying chip basket after chip basket?'" Garner told CNBC. "It allows our crew to spend more time doing culinary tests, serving guests.”
We’ve seen this kind of spiel before and it will be interesting to see if these corporations actually mean what they say. Hopefully, things pan out and robot chefs will be able to work alongside real ones.