Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Robotics Idle

Robot Serves Up 360 Hamburgers Per Hour 299

kkleiner writes "No longer will they say, 'He's going to end up flipping burgers.' Now, robots are taking even these ignobly esteemed jobs. San Francisco based Momentum Machines makes a robot called the Alpha that can churn out 360 gourmet burgers per hour. The company plans on launching the first ever burger restaurant chain with a cook staff made entirely of robots. You think Americans are obese right now? Just wait."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Robot Serves Up 360 Hamburgers Per Hour

Comments Filter:
  • Mmm-mm! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:52PM (#42663029)

    That is a tasty burger.

    • You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?

  • Couch Potato (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jetra ( 2622687 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:54PM (#42663045)
    With no more entry level positions, maybe we can finally take over the world by using our free time to build death rays.
  • That's nothing (Score:4, Informative)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:56PM (#42663079)

    I saw SpongeBob SquarePants serve up thousands of Crabby Patties in just a few minutes []!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But he left off the pickles


  • Fatter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PlusFiveTroll ( 754249 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:56PM (#42663085) Homepage

    Why would this make us more obese, this won't make more fat food then we already have, just a new way of doing it. It will just put a few low paid cooks out of a job and leaves one job for some guy that fixes the machine.

    • Re:Fatter? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:16PM (#42663303)

      Why would this make us more obese, this won't make more fat food then we already have, just a new way of doing it. It will just put a few low paid cooks out of a job and leaves one job for some guy that fixes the machine.

      Oh sure it will, there is almost certainly some percentage of fatties that are partially kept in check by the shame of ordering multiple day's worth of food from a skinny teenager. Once you're ordering from an nonjudging robot it will be much socially easier to ask for 3 burgers and 2 orders of fries.

      It will be like the guys that would never set foot in a physical porn shop, but have no problem purchasing it online.

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      Why would this make us more obese, this won't make more fat food then we already have, just a new way of doing it. It will just put a few low paid cooks out of a job and leaves one job for some guy that fixes the machine.

      That's the story of the industrial revolution, which started in the late 1800s. Better quality, higher-paying jobs requiring higher skill take the place of unskilled or lightly skilled labor. I don't see this is as screwing the little guy. I see it as creating a better job and eliminating tedious and unpleasant tasks from society.

      Of course, with this development, we might start questioning why we need quick-serve restaurants, or quick-serve restaurant managers, or quick-serve cashiers at all. We cou

      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        Ah the story from late 1800s to now is there were always "Better quality, higher-paying jobs" available. The difference is now those are shrinking too, just as population and demand are exploding.

        Frankly, you can't have a stable society where the only jobs available are for the cognitive elite, like the typical /.er. You need to give the lowest 95% or so of society "something" to do, because they're too dumb to lead themselves and they'll probably find something exciting to pass the time, like revolution.

    • Why would this make us more obese, this won't make more fat food then we already have, just a new way of doing it. It will just put a few low paid cooks out of a job and leaves one job for some guy that fixes the machine.

      No, this was just an opportunity for the author to jump on the American self-hate that's in vogue right now.

  • The Luddite Fallacy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfwitten ( 1906728 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:56PM (#42663087)

    Read about it [] and understand it.

    • by tragedy ( 27079 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:44PM (#42663641)

      The thing about that though is the question of what economic activity arises for people to participate in for employment. We're already living in an age where most of the useful labour is done by a relatively small percentage of the population. Most of the rest works in various types of service job. Robots like this can replace human workers in entire large segments of those service industries. Sure there are other service jobs, but there are a lot of them that really are of the replaceable with a simple shell script variety. With a little more machine intelligence, the majority of them probably are replaceable that way. Eventually, there won't be any low or no-skill jobs left. Even the jobs fixing the machines will be done by machines. The simple fact is that most people aren't high-skilled labour and even those who are highly skilled or are very, very good at their jobs often can't compete with a custom designed machine (shades of John Henry). The truth is that the new economy jobs that gradually replace the old ones are worse and worse and the typical labourer is going to have to sell their labour on what is increasingly a buyers market.

      The problem is that farming, mining, manufacturing, food service, retail sales, warehouse jobs, delivery, construction, etc. can all conceivably be replaced almost entirely by machines. The owners of the machines, farms, mines, factories, restaurants, stores, warehouses, delivery companies, construction companies, etc. will then be the only people producing the tangible things that the consumers truly need, while the majority of the consumers will be working in service jobs producing intangibles that people don't really need.

      In other words, we are in danger of transitioning to post-scarcity technology without transitioning to a post-scarcity economy. That leaves most people, at best, working themselves to death in completely unproductive, pointless jobs.

      • It sounds good, but I have heard this argument many times over the years. Supermarket scanners didn't cause the downfall of western civilization. What's different this time?

        I would argue there are plenty of jobs that simply cannot be done by any machine (barring strong AI). Most entertainment jobs, as an example, and that segment of the market keeps growing. Human desires are practically infinite. I don't see getting to post-scarcity any time soon, but let's hope it happens.

        • by dryeo ( 100693 )

          Supermarket scanners didn't cause the downfall of western civilization. What's different this time?

          Actually supermarket scanners and all the related technology is causing the downfall of western civilization. The governments are currently buffering it by borrowing and forcing low interest rates but remove things like food stamps, welfare for all able bodied people and lower unemployment insurance and social security down to the levels that balance with the input, eg only collecting UI for a few months. Also remove the make work that the government heavily borrows for and western civilization will crash.

        • by TheLink ( 130905 )
          What happened is the farmers were able to feed more and more people - thus the food prices remained affordable.

          In the USA a single farmer can feed about 155 people. Maybe that figure can keep going up. But if the supply of other goods go up the farmer may start charging more for his produce. There are just so many Farmville coins a farmer will want in return for his real farm goods. Whereas if you have to eat, you have to eat.

          OK perhaps someone makes a robot farmer - in which case the other humans to human
    • and I still don't see how you can prevent the haves from using what they have to get more, and repeating the cycle until they have everything. The other solutions either ignore the problem or boil down to socialism in everything but name.
  • by Bobfrankly1 ( 1043848 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:56PM (#42663089)
    Nothing says appetizing like a burger popping out flanked by greased chains...
    • by esldude ( 1157749 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:52PM (#42663729)
      Is that worse than wondering where your food preparers hands have been since they were last washed? And though adjacent to the burger, they didn't come into contact with it. Plus there are food grade greases used in such devices that are safe around food preparation like this.
      • Yea, the OP doesn't realize that every damn thing that he eats out of a 'box' has traveled through some kind of clanky high speed stainless steel greased chain machine. You'd have thought that ./ readers would have watched How it's made or something similar.

  • by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:58PM (#42663109)

    That'd even keep Wimpy [] fed!

  • That can't be right.... Did I misread the headline?
  • by houbou ( 1097327 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:00PM (#42663127) Journal
    Any plans on recycling cooks into their supervisors? gourmet burger? who is the chef? quality control? it's the way of the future, just hope it figures out how to ensure that the human factor/equation isn't on the losing end.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:07PM (#42663209) Journal

    It takes EBT, right? Otherwise how will the humans that used to flip the burgers eat? Hopefully they don't make a robot that stands in the middle of the street, accosts you on Muni, and begs for change. If they do that, then humans really are sunk... except for those of us who know how to fight the robots. That's it. I'm signing up at robot fighting academy tomorrow. (ZZZZZZZZZzeep!) Wait, it's somebody from the futue. uh-huh, uh-huh, really? No. Yeah? OK. well, I guess.

    Hey, Slashdot? Disregard the above. You'll understand later.

    • Since we are all bound by the Temporal Prime Directive, I'm sure we will. I'm sure we will.

      (turns to TARDIS...) "Doctor? Shall we?" (door slams)

      Next Time... On Slashdot...

      Zombies! OMG Zombies (fade to black...)

    • You know that CalFresh (EBT Food, aka food stamps) benefits can't be used to buy prepared hot meals unless you're homeless, right? And any assets you might have, borrow, or earn -- say from a job flipping burgers -- are deducted from your already paltry CAAP (EBT Cash) benefits. But by all means, go ahead with the ignorant poor-bashing. After all, what are they gonna do, mildly annoy you with their temerity of sitting on the sidewalk?

      • Yes. That was all bloody outright serious. The inclusions of robot fighting and time travel were your two biggest clues.

  • It's truly the end (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OhANameWhatName ( 2688401 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:13PM (#42663269)
    .. of employment in America.
    • at least we have health Care as long as you don't vote gop as under them no work go to er or go on the jailcare plan.

    • Because my IT job is going away? The janitors who have to clean up the waste created by the robots, or their consumers? Sanitation crews? Education?

      How about the end of the McJob, and the replacement of it by people who go out and make jobs, like they used to before global conglomerates held the keys to being unable to afford your family?

      You, and the people who up-modded you, need to read every comment above yours, and most of the ones below, and get back to me on this unemployment thing.

      The last time we

  • by Chemisor ( 97276 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:26PM (#42663421)

    Time to reread Manna []. The cooks, the manager, the cleaning staff, and finally you, until nobody has any work or any money.

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      The cooks, the manager, the cleaning staff, and finally you, until nobody has any work or any money.

      Well, the owners of the robots will presumably have most of the money at that point, as everybody will be buying goods and services from them.

      And then it's just a matter of nationalizing the machines (which is doable since the plebians will still represent the vast majority of votes, even if they are out of work), et voila, free food and basic commodities for all (at least until the necessary natural resources are depleted!)

    • We need then, of course, is robots that can use hamburgers as fuel.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:28PM (#42663443) Homepage

    Automatic burger machines date back to the 1950s. Back then, everybody ate the same thing, so assembly-like type systems were useful. American Machine and Foundry built an automated fast-food outlet in the 1960s, but it wasn't cost-effective. McDonalds tried this out back in 2003. []

    It's not that it's technically difficult. It's that the volume required to make it profitable is higher than most fast food outlets can sell.

    • Sure it could probably be done with 1800's steam technology. Didn't Doc Brown have one for his eggs and toast in the morning?
      • by fatphil ( 181876 )
        I'm sure Wallace and Grommit did.
        • I'm sure Wallace and Grommit did.

          Peewee Herman did too, if I remember right. I think his looked like Abraham Lincoln. (Disclaimer...haven't seen that movie since it originally hit the theaters, so my memory may be faulty.)

    • Yeah, automated production lines are great for factories and centralized production centers. The problem is that, since every thing is cooked locally, each fast food restaurant would need a production line, which cost tens of thousands of dollars.Plus if you count maintenance and administration staff you probably reduce only 2 or 3 employees from 8~15 depending on the size of the restaurant. Plus you going to need a higher level of skill as well.
      However, while for business these robots may not be efficien
  • FINALLY!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sackofdonuts ( 2717491 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:32PM (#42663503)
    Although the food at most fast food restaurants isn't that great sometimes one gets the urge to get a greasy burger. But then you go and see who is working the grill or fryer and your appetite goes away. Robot food service....Yes!!!
  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:15PM (#42663985) Homepage Journal

    I would consider "Gourmet" and "Mass produced by Machine" to be mutually exclusive; no matter how good the food is.

    It's like a "Limited Time Offer" that's always available, "Exclusive Benefits" for anyone with a pulse, etc.

    • I'm sure they will eventually come up with some system to declare robots as gourmet certified, which will justify a higher price per bot vs. uncertified bots, despite them doing the exact same thing.

      Now, would you like to try our BIG ASS FRIES?

  • ``premium burgers prepared fresh for you on-demand, from only the finest bio-slurry. our meat is synthesized, interwoven with premium lipids, exercised, and grilled before your eyes without the interference of filthy meatbags. the best burger you've tasted, every time — that's science!"

  • "Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger!"

    "No Coke, just Pepsi"
  • by kriston ( 7886 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @10:55PM (#42664833) Homepage Journal

    Burgers are never flipped at McDonalds or Burger King. McDonalds uses a dual-surface grill, contacting the beef from top and bottom. Burger King uses a broiler with flames on the top and bottom.

    No flipping burgers. Note this for future reference.

  • And you will be the burger.

  • "640 hamburgers otta be enough for anyone" -bill g

  • Hamburgers mass-produced by a robot are "gourmet" hamburgers?
  • You Don't Get Served By Their Kind In Here!

    You can always go there if you want a burger served up by a human instead of a droid!

  • Gourmet Burgers : More Comfortable Coach Seats

  • Basically, if we provide amnesty to all of the illegals, most of them are uneducated. However, they will want more money which will mean that they are too expensive to keep in those positions. However, an increase in the cheap labor will cause a number of jobs to go away and be replaced by robotics. This burger robot will no doubt be picked up by McD, BK, Wndys, etc. IOW, we will be laying off 1 million ppl who were originally illegals. It does not sound like much until you realize that that is just under a
  • 360 in an HOUR??? Is that all? What a slow poke. I don't even need to make a John Henry reference. I could beat this machine, with one hand tied behind my back.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"