At a Caliburger restaurant in Pasadena, California, Miso Robotics and Cali Group have taken the wraps off Flippy, a "collaborative kitchen assistant" that uses computer vision and deep learning to take over the job of grilling burger patties and leaving the chef to do the less grease-spattery jobs of assembling the sandwiches.

According to Miso Robotics, Flippy is a low cost, stand-alone robot designed to be used in restaurant kitchens without the need for special modifications. Using computer vision and an adaptable deep learning system, it's designed to handle the tedious job of watching and flipping burger patties.

Not only doesn't Flippy mind spending hours in front of a hot, grease-spattering grill, but it can identify what is on the grill (including an intruding human hand), judge its degree of doneness, and transfer the burgers to the bun for a human chef to complete assembly. In addition, it can adapt to and avoid bumping into its human co-workers for greater safety.

"Much like self-driving vehicles, our system continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time," says David Zito, CEO of Miso Robotics. "Though we are starting with the relatively 'simple' task of cooking burgers, our proprietary AI software allows our kitchen assistants to be adaptable and therefore can be trained to help with almost any dull, dirty or dangerous task in a commercial kitchen — whether it's frying chicken, cutting vegetables, or final plating."

Flippy is still in the demo stage, but is scheduled to start work early next year before expanding into 50 Caliburgers worldwide in 2019. The company says that workers displaced by the robot will be transferred to dining room duty where the human touch is still preferred.

The video below shows Flippy in action.

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