Miso Robotics introduced the newest model of Flippy, its flagship product, named Flippy 2.
The new and improved model is based on key learnings and feedback from innovation partner White Castle. The QSR teamed up with Miso Robotics to pilot Flippy, Robot-on-a-Rail (ROAR) in its kitchen. At a Chicagoland location, Flippy ROAR automates the fry station, helps enable social distancing on the line and frees up team members for other tasks. Plus, it reduces human contact with food during the cooking process and slashes the potential for transmission of food pathogens.
Miso Robotics says White Castle plans to expand to additional locations once the pilot is over. Flippy 2 takes over the work for an entire fry station and performs more than twice as many food preparation tasks compared to the previous version including basket filling, emptying and returning.
Back-of-house positions at quick-service restaurants have historically been labor-intensive, physically demanding and can be hazardous given the proximity to hot oil and grills in compact kitchens. Flippy 2 looks to alleviate these pain points and create a better working environment for its human coworkers, while also maximizing the efficiency of the kitchen.
Over the course of Flippy’s deployment at White Castle, the fast-food hamburger chain has been impressed and pleased with the productivity gains Flippy has brought to daily operations. While Flippy helped team members stay in their designated locations, employees noted during the pilot that there was a need for human assistance on both sides of the robot – from the initial point of contact with the uncooked product to when the cooked food gets placed in the holding area – requiring several steps and two employees. Basket management wasn’t automated so the cooking process wasn’t as seamless as it could be – until now.
“We learned so much from Flippy and our partnership with Miso Robotics. It’s amazing to see the future of how we provide even better service and even more hot and tasty food to our craving customers happening right before us in real time,” said Jamie Richardson, Vice President at White Castle.
How it Works
Flippy 2 – which makes the fry station, even at peak times, less than a full-time task – features the brand new AutoBin system for lower volume and specialty foods like onion rings or chicken tenders. Each bin can hold as much as a full fry basket, be customized for a kitchen’s specific needs and be delineated for individual products like vegetables and fish to prevent cross-contamination.
Once the product is placed in the bin, AI vision automatically identifies the food, picks it up, cooks it in the correct fry basket and places it into a hot-holding area. Eliminating the transfer task lessens overall human-to-food contact, decreases potential oil dripping and burns caused by lifting and moving baskets, and ensures an entirely closed-loop system where Flippy 2 can operate on its own without human intervention in the middle of the process. This makes the system faster, increasing throughput by 30% – or around 60 baskets per hour – which is more than what is needed in high-volume QSRs.
Flippy 2 also features a new, sleeker design that takes up less space within the kitchen – including a 56% reduced aisle intrusion, 13% height reduction and less overall cleanable surfaces.
In addition to White Castle, Miso Robotics has several other pilot agreements with national brands in place, including its recently announced partnership with Inspire Brands.
Images courtesy of Miso Robotics.