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View Full Version : McDonald's New High-Tech Burger Flipper



Rockntractor
01-28-2013, 05:02 PM
from the who-needs-humans? dept

While everyone here seems to be complaining about offshore outsourcing of jobs, maybe they should start worrying whether or not we'll need any human employees whatsoever in the future. I was recently reading a story on Dave Farber's Interesting People list about someone going into a McDonald's and testing out their new "order kiosk", where the customer could order food from the playground section. The writer wondered how long it would be until there were simply those same kiosks at every table, and no humans needed to take orders. Already, for years, there have been fast food restaurants where the order taking system is "turned around". The first time I used one of these, it was a little creepy. You walk up to the counter and punch in your own order. The people who used to take your order are just standing there like zombies waiting to take your money. However, with the addition of kiosks that accept payments, you don't need those people any more either. Now, McDonald's is going one step further and getting rid of the need for humans cooking the food as well. That's right, they're testing out automated burger grabbers and flippers. Already McDonald's is famous for how automated their process is (just go in sometime and listen carefully for all the different beeping noises in the kitchen - everything is timed and measured precisely). Taking the human element out of it completely must be their dream scenario. So, how long until we get the fully automated McDonald's? You sit down at your table, punch in your order (how about voice recognition to make it easier?), swipe your credit card, and a minute later your Big Mac, fries, and a drink slide out a little trap door onto your table. They can even buy one of those roomba devices to clean up.
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20030801/1345236.shtml

This is indeed bad news for the Occupy wall street bunch, you have reached the pinnacle of your achievements, there is no longer anywhere for you to go for advancement.

noonwitch
01-28-2013, 06:27 PM
Robots can't sue when they get burned while changing the grease in the vats. I never worked at McD's, but I worked in the cafeteria at K-Mart and will never forget how much I feared draining the grease vats. Those grease spatters burn, and it always spatters to some degree.


I think it's kind of creepy. I'm not a regular customer, but I like my Egg McMuffins when I travel, and I like the Filet o' Fish. I don't like either enough to deal with robots taking my order and cooking the food.

Rockntractor
01-28-2013, 06:32 PM
Robots can't sue when they get burned while changing the grease in the vats. I never worked at McD's, but I worked in the cafeteria at K-Mart and will never forget how much I feared draining the grease vats. Those grease spatters burn, and it always spatters to some degree.


I think it's kind of creepy. I'm not a regular customer, but I like my Egg McMuffins when I travel, and I like the Filet o' Fish. I don't like either enough to deal with robots taking my order and cooking the food.

As long as they don't tell me to kiss their shiny metal ass I'm okay with it.

SarasotaRepub
01-28-2013, 09:21 PM
http://www.adafruit.com/adablog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/RobotSkillbadge.png

SaintLouieWoman
01-29-2013, 10:29 AM
When the minimum wage keeps going up, the only surprising thing is that this robot thing hasn't happened sooner. This is bad news for kids trying to earn some cash. That Obama Care thing isn't helping, either.

Rockntractor
01-29-2013, 11:49 AM
Coming soon, robot protestors.

noonwitch
01-29-2013, 12:29 PM
Coming soon, robot protestors.


If the unions get a hold of some robots, they can stop using humans to picket at strike sites!

jediab
01-29-2013, 12:33 PM
If the unions get a hold of some robots, they can stop using humans to picket at strike sites!

They already use robots at protests. They are called Obamabots who don't know anything outside their recently downloaded DNC programming.

Odysseus
01-29-2013, 03:30 PM
A cousin of mine worked for a union in occupational safety back in the 70s. He discovered that the easiest way to reduce noise levels to standard was the implementation of more automation, which the union wouldn't consider. Better to have a bunch of workers with hearing loss (and workman's comp) than a bunch of robots not paying dues.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

noonwitch
01-29-2013, 04:20 PM
A cousin of mine worked for a union in occupational safety back in the 70s. He discovered that the easiest way to reduce noise levels to standard was the implementation of more automation, which the union wouldn't consider. Better to have a bunch of workers with hearing loss (and workman's comp) than a bunch of robots not paying dues.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

In that case, it is about saving jobs (and, yes, that's how they get their dues). The company would have laid off all the workers.

Odysseus
01-30-2013, 05:37 PM
In that case, it is about saving jobs (and, yes, that's how they get their dues). The company would have laid off all the workers.

Not all of the jobs could have been automated, but those that could would have saved the hearing of those who remained. By simply allowing some of those jobs to go away through attrition, they could have slowly automated the process and kept the remaining people on in a safer environment.

Unions aren't about saving jobs, but about perpetuating their power, which means keeping the number of dues-paying members up, even if the work is gone.