Here's The Burger-Flipping Robot That Could Put Fast-Food Workers Out Of A Job

Machine capable of producing 360 burgers per hour

Vintage tin toy robot
Getty Images
By Dylan Love

A company called Momentum Machines has built a robot that could radically change the fast-food industry and have some line cooks looking for new jobs.

The company's robot can "slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible." The robot is "more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour." That's one burger burger every 10 seconds. The next generation of the device will offer "custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem."

Momentum Machines cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas told Xconomy "our device isn't meant to make employees more efficient. It's meant to completely obviate them." Indeed, marketing copy on the company's site reads that their automaton "does everything employees can do, except better."

This directly raises a question that a lot of smart people have contemplated: Will robots steal our jobs? Opinion is divided of course. Here's what Momentum Machines has to say on the topic:

The issue of machines and job displacement has been around for centuries and economists generally accept that technology like ours actually causes an increase in employment. The three factors that contribute to this are 1. the company that makes the robots must hire new employees, 2. the restaurant that uses our robots can expand their frontiers of production which requires hiring more people, and 3. the general public saves money on the reduced cost of our burgers. This saved money can then be spent on the rest of the economy.

If we are to undertake the lofty ambition of changing the nature of work by way of robots, the fast-food industry seems like a good place to start, considering its inherently repetitive tasks and minimal skill requirements. Any roboticist worth his or her salt jumps at tasks described as repetitive and easy - these are perfect undertakings for a robot.

Here's a schematic of what the burger-bot looks like and how it works. It occupies 24 square feet, much smaller than most assembly line fast food operations. It boasts "gourmet cooking methods never before used in a fast food restaurant" and will even deposit your completed burger into a bag. It's a veritable Gutenberg printing press for hamburgers.

Momentum Machines

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R Brown

Dey turk err jurbs,!! Durker durr,!!

September 17 2014 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

This is the solution to the whiners demanding $15 an hour for unskilled labor. Replace them with robots. If they know they can be easily replaced by machines maybe they will STFU.

September 08 2014 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
samwise246

One has to wonder how can it grind, cook and assemble a burger in 10 seconds? What can it possibly taste like cooking that fast?
And a person still will have to put the order into the computer, right? VRS still cannot understand much of what many people say. We all have different inflection to our speech that make it near impossible for the machine to understand all of us.

September 08 2014 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Herb

They need robots to pack the orders. The way it is now all fast food restaurants have about a 90% error rate. It’s unusual to get an order right, especially on take out. Now some idiot will say “ what they pay them” a person who is smart and cares will do it right no matter what you pay them. The dumb welfare hand out babies who don’t care will always be bad no mater you pay them.

September 08 2014 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
critterkitty13

This would be great! Think of all the things that wont happen if they go to robots. They don't have to go the bathroom so that would take care of health issues happening from employees not washing their hands. Robots do not have any attitude problems and wont be sarcastic rude of mean to customers. They wont get tired and cranky if they miss their break. A robot wont make the mistakes humans do while taking and preparing an order. A robot wont sneeze on your food. Hair wont get into your food. Etc....... And since the robots have to be manufactured programmed and maintained the economy wont lose a job because of the robots it will most likely create more jobs with this cutting edge technology. History has shown this to be the case

August 16 2014 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
critterkitty13

This would be great! Think of all the things that wont happen if they go to robots. They don't have to go the bathroom so that would take care of health issues happening from employees not washing their hands. Robots do not have any attitude problems and wont be sarcastic rude of mean to customers. They wont get tired and cranky if they miss their break. A robot wont make the mistakes humans do while taking and preparing an order. A robot wont sneeze on your food. Hair wont get into your food. Etc....... And since the robots have to be manufactured programmed and maintained the economy wont lose a job because of the robots it will most likely create more jobs with this cutting edge technology.

August 16 2014 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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