Following eight years of development, restaurant automation solutions provider Creator is gearing up to debut its robot burger restaurant in September 2018. The company is backed by investors such as Google’s GV, according to reports, and raised at least $18.3 million last year.
Creator co-founder and CEO Alex Vardakostas has said his restaurant has many advantages. The average restaurant is “50 percent bigger in terms of square footage,” for example, and the robot is smaller than the back of most quick-service restaurants (QSRs). In fact, it is the kitchen.
“You roll it in and plug it in,” Vardakostas said.
Customers order their burgers through a tablet, then the robot slices, toasts and butters the bun before putting a precise amount of sauces on it. Pickles, tomatoes, onions, blocks of cheese and other toppings are sliced and added, and the robot grinds the meat when an order is placed.
The news comes as Pasadena-based startup Miso Robotics is ready to introduce Flippy, the automated fast-food burger-flipper — launching, according to many, the beginning of the end for burger boys and low-skill laborers in general. Flippy is slated to roll out to 50 CaliBurger restaurants around the world over the next two years.
Miso’s burger bot can flip burgers twice as fast as a human using its singular arm, and it is powered by deep machine learning. Though Flippy is still just an assistant today, it can use feedback loops to learn from its co-workers in the kitchen as well as from its own mistakes. It still requires human hands to cut veggies and place cheese on burger patties, but those are skills it could theoretically learn — and which a similar robot by Momentum Machines already has — or fully take over from its $15-per-hour kitchen comrades.
“The kitchen can be entirely automated,” said David Zito, Miso Robotics CEO. “We really think of ourselves as a technology company that happens to sell cheeseburgers.”