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Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss News Restaurants

In-N-Out Copycat CaliBurger Rolls Out First Burger Flipping Robot

It’s like a scene straight out of The Jetsons:  a robotic arm, gently flipping burger patties and turning buns with exact precision. Except only this time, it’s not a cartoon, it’s real life and it’s happening right now at a Pasadena-based burger chain called CaliBurger.

Enter FLIPPY, an artificially intelligent grill master that was developed by another Pasadena-based company, Miso Robotics and the CaliBurger’s parent company Cali Group. FLIPPY is a “robotic kitchen assistant” that works along side humans, and is now the newest CaliBurger team member, according to TechCrunch.

FLIPPY uses cameras to detect the different types of meat, along with cooking temperature and time, buns, and even the hands of a fellow coworker. Engadget reported that by using sensors it can use and “deep learning software to locate ingredients in a kitchen without needing to reconfigure existing equipment,” FLIPPY can alert humans when cooking tasks are completed so the toppings can be added to orders.

In a world dominated by mobile food delivery, the fast-food industry has already seen a big shift into automation — which restaurant owners can use as a profitable advantage — considering potential minimum wage rate increases and the aspect of more quick-serve restaurants transitioning to a more personal dining room service.

CaliBurger is already looking into the future of fast-food automation, but according to John Miller, Chairman of CaliGroup, FLIPPY won’t be replacing employees anytime soon.

“The application of artificial intelligence to robotic systems that work next to our employees in CaliBurger restaurants will allow us to make food faster, safer, and with fewer errors,” Miller told Nation’s Restaurant News.

For now, FLIPPY is under a probationary period at CaliBurger but the chain plans to roll out additional versions of Flippy to 50 CaliBurger locations in the next few years.

While it may not seem obvious at first, CaliBurger made headlines before. In 2012, the CaliBurger was sued by In-N-Out for, “trademark infringement and counterfeiting,” when it used similar imagery and the phrase, “Animal Style” on menus in a Shanghai location according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Hit-Or-Miss

This Shake-Resistant, Smart Spoon Is Completely Spill-Proof

In a world dominated by smart phones, smart watches and smart cars, it seems there are countless inventions being created to help make life easier. Still, even the most impressive smart technology can become inaccessible to those with limited physical mobility.

For people living with a physical disability, whether it be a spinal cord injury, stroke, Huntington’s disease, or even mild to severe hand tremors, basic everyday tasks, such as eating, can be very difficult. That’s why Verily Life Sciences is working to bring smart technology for those who need it most, in the form of kitchen utensils.

liftware_pair

In 2013, Verily Life Sciences introduced the Liftware Steady (pictured left), a computerized handle, with basic utensil attachments, that contains sensors programmed to detect hand motion and stabilize unwanted tremors from the intended movement of the hand. This type of stabilization technology was designed to ease the frustration people living with tremors, and enable them to focus on their meal.

The company’s newest product, The Liftware Level (pictured right), is a self-leveling handle which contains sensors that detect changes from the intended movement of the hand.

The Liftware Level includes a spoon and fork attachments designed to give individuals living with limited arm and hand movement the ability to hold a utensil — at any angle —  and easily feed themselves.

Most importantly, both Liftware products are designed to allow people to regain confidence and focus on the most important parts of every meal — the food, and the people.

Inventions of this magnitude should be considered a breakthrough for those struggling with physical limitations. The Liftware Level is the world’s first spill-proof smart utensil that analyzes a users hand and arm position, and counteracts the effects of hand tremors and other involuntary movements.

Introduced to the public on Dec. 1, 2016, The Liftware Level Starter Kit is now available for $195 on its website, and is expected to ship before the holidays.

In recognition of such a important step forward in assisting individuals with physical limitations,  the Huntington Disease Society of America is donating 1,000 Liftware Level Starter Kits via its website, to those that apply.

This program is only is only intended for those affected by Huntington’s disease. Donations will be granted on a first come, first served basis.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Kawasaki Releases Robots That Make Perfect Sushi In Seconds

The term, ‘Futurology’ is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the systematic forecasting of the future, especially from present trends in society.”

That definition can easily be described as borderline creepy and ominous, but it’s probably not as unsettling as two robots working in systematic harmony to build the perfect plate of sushi. Fast-food robots aren’t anything new, and are actually quite fascinating to watch. There’s even a pizza cooking robot.

FOODBEAST has written extensively about robot taking over the food industry, from a robot-operated Carl’s Jr., to Shanghai-based restaurants using $150,000 robots to make ramen in 90-seconds.

Before you gear up to battle the machines, like that chick in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, chill for a second and check out this Kawasaki Robotics showroom in Tokyo — Kawasaki Robostage — which opened on Aug. 6, 2016.

Kawasaki has big plans to bring automation into the food and beverage industry and apparently wants visitors to, “have a taste of the envisioned future relationships between humans and robots,” according to Kawasaki’s website.

Whatever that means, but in the meantime, check out this Kawasaki bread scoring robot. Hopefully I don’t fall in love with it, like Joaquin Phoenix in HER.

It’s safe to say that the dough scoring robot is less frightening, let’s just keep robots away from my salmon sushi from now on and everything will be OK.