Line cooks at Pasadena, California’s CaliBurger recently got an extra set of hands in the kitchen as Miso Robotics’ Flippy the Robot joined them after completing several months of training.

Although CaliBurger made the announcement a year ago that the AI-based Flippy would be joining the ranks of line cooks at the restaurant, the robot had to first complete training before graduating to "full-time” line cook.

“People see a robot, they hear robot, they assume job replacement,” said David Zito, the CEO of Miso Robotics, which created Flippy with the Cali Group, the owner of the CaliBurger chain. “This isn’t about replacing jobs. This is about a third hand in the kitchen.”

Flippy has been designed to help close a gap between the high turnover rates and quick turnaround often associated with the fast-food industry.

“Flippy is novel, but definitely not a novelty,” Zito said ahead of last year’s announcement. “As it improves its speed and skillset over time such as frying, chopping and grilling menu items and adding seasoning or cheese to patties, CaliBurger will see an increase in productivity. In addition, we’ve modeled our pricing based off expected value each robotic kitchen assistant can provide at scale.”

To see Flippy in action, watch the accompanying video.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com