A burger-flipping robot invasion is headed to the Bay Area. A few years ago, startup Momentum Machines unveiled a robot that could churn out 400 burgers an hour, and now, Tech Insider reports, the company is creating a restaurant concept around it.
The robot can slice toppings, grill a patty, assemble, and bag the burger without any help from humans.
A Craigslist job ad says the restaurant will open at 680 Folsom St. in the SoMa (South of Market) neighborhood; the ad doesn't specifically mention robots, instead reading, "This location will feature the world-premiere of our proprietary and remarkable new advances in technology that enable the automatic creation of impossibly delicious burgers at prices everyone can afford." The restaurant will still need to employ a human for tasks such as payroll and taking out the trash, however. (But wait — who will make the fries?)
As Tech Insider explains, the metallic burger maker is "fully autonomous, meaning the robot can slice toppings, grill a patty, and assemble and bag the burger without any help from humans." According to the Craigslist ad, the burgers served at the as-yet-unnamed restaurant "will be fresh-ground and grilled to order, served on toasted brioche, and accented by an infinitely personalizable variety of fresh produce, seasonings, and sauces."
A previously released diagram from the company explained how the prototype version of the burger robot operated:
The Momentum Machines team includes roboticists from companies such as NASA and Tesla, as well as the former head of R&D from chef Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck.
As a tech capital of the world, SF is certainly no stranger to automation in restaurants: The wildly popular automat-style restaurant Eatsa cuts out all that pesky human interaction by taking orders for quinoa bowls via iPad, then delivering food to customers via cubbies.
Other restaurants, like KFC and Domino's Pizza, have proven that robots are adept at taking orders and even delivering pizzas, not to mention preparing bowls of ramen. A former McDonald's CEO warned that a robot takeover could be imminent as nationwide wage hikes make human labor more expensive. But as some robot restaurants in China recently discovered, automatons can't quite measure up to humans when it comes to tasks like serving food and pouring water.