The shape of things to come

Written by Mark Evans

A restaurant in the US has installed a robot to cook its hamburgers. Taking orders through a digital ticketing system, the robot then uses thermal imaging, as well as cameras, to place meat on the grill, cook it and remove it.

Flippy – as the robot has been called – cannot yet prepare a complete burger, but alongside the novelty factor it does demonstrate how commercial robotics are moving out of the production line and into everyday life.

For sectors with high employee turnover (such as retail food outlets, checkouts) or where humans with the skills can be scarce (nursing) the use of robotics coupled with AI makes for an interesting combination, but not without its issues as for some levels of employment may become uneconomic to employ humans at all.