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  1. #1 Still Demanding $15. To Be A Fry Cook? 
    Destroyer of Worlds Apocalypse's Avatar
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    Meet the Robot That Makes 360 Gourmet Burgers Per Hour







    No human hand touched this hamburger. It was made entirely by robots.

    One robot, rather—a 24 square foot gourmet-hamburger-flipping behemoth built by Momentum Machines. It looks like this:

    The San Francisco-based robotics company debuted its burger-preparing machine last year. It can whip up hundreds of burgers an hour, take custom orders, and it uses top-shelf ingredients for its inputs. Now Momentum is proposing a chain of ‘smart restaurants’ that eschew human cooks altogether.


    Food Beast points us to the Momentum’s official release, where the company blares:


    “Fast food doesn’t have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better.”


    And what might this robotic burger cook of the future do better than the slow, inefficient, wage-sucking line cooks of yore?

    • It slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles only immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.
    • …custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground after you place your order? No problem.
    • It’s more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.

    Furthermore, the "labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.” Hear that? Without all those cumbersome human workers, your hamburger will be twice as good. For the same cost.


    I don’t doubt this is where we’re heading; robots are making inroads in manufacturing, farming, and they’re doing more domestic work around the house, too. Yeah, robots are taking our jobs, and it’s not a question of if, but when and how. Economists often treat the service industry as some last bastion of downsize-proof labor, but, clearly, robots will make sandwiches and take orders, too.


    A future where we can get gourmet burgers, cheaply and on the quick, sounds pretty nice. But that future will also have structural unemployment, unless we start taking major strides to rethink and reform how we work in a world where robots are doing much of the heavy lifting. If we can, with robots flipping all the burgers, and the right social policies, maybe at least a semi-techno-utopia is on the way






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    July 4, 1776 - January 20, 2009
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  2. #2  
    Sin City Moderator RobJohnson's Avatar
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    That burger looks good!
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    The @#$%-storm of Luddism that will be directed against the first company that dares to try this machine will be like a Cat 5 Hurricane! Union thugs will try to smash the machines! Politicians will try every front-door, back-door, side-window, and chimney-flue approach to banning the machines. MISLeaders of liberal churches will proclaim the machines to be enslavers and oppressors! The hysteria will probably far exceed my cynical imagination, even well past the point of murderous violence.
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    The Food beast article linked in the OP is now a broken link, but the link to the 2012 Momentum Machines press release still works.
    SVPete

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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVPete View Post
    The @#$%-storm of Luddism that will be directed against the first company that dares to try this machine will be like a Cat 5 Hurricane! Union thugs will try to smash the machines! Politicians will try every front-door, back-door, side-window, and chimney-flue approach to banning the machines. MISLeaders of liberal churches will proclaim the machines to be enslavers and oppressors! The hysteria will probably far exceed my cynical imagination, even well past the point of murderous violence.

    I dunno about that. If the company making the machines are unionized, the unions aren't losing anything but potential members in lost burger flippers.

    I personally think McDonald's should take the plunge and allow unions. People voted their burgers the worst, so not much quality can be lost. But the public needs to see what effect the higher minimum wage and unionization would do to a major chain.
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  6. #6  
    I wonder which robot runs the machine.

    Burger King's "grilled" burgers are really just tossed in a machine to be cooked. Of course, somebody had to put the food in there. Somebody had to get it out. Somebody had to turn it into a sandwich. Somebody had to microwave it when a customer said they wanted it straight off the grill. You still need human beings.

    If you think this machine wasn't need to be operated by humans, you're wrong. They'll especially need human help when they malfuction and start giving a chicken sandwich for a cheeseburger or cause parts of the paper to go into the sandwich.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanie View Post
    I wonder which robot runs the machine.
    They'll especially need human help when they malfuction and start giving a chicken sandwich for a cheeseburger or cause parts of the paper to go into the sandwich.
    I have had enough mistakes made with food orders, that I'm willing to take a chance on the machine. That burger looks closer to homemade than any fast food burger.
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  8. #8  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanie View Post
    I wonder which robot runs the machine.

    Burger King's "grilled" burgers are really just tossed in a machine to be cooked. Of course, somebody had to put the food in there. Somebody had to get it out. Somebody had to turn it into a sandwich. Somebody had to microwave it when a customer said they wanted it straight off the grill. You still need human beings.

    If you think this machine wasn't need to be operated by humans, you're wrong. They'll especially need human help when they malfuction and start giving a chicken sandwich for a cheeseburger or cause parts of the paper to go into the sandwich.
    It won't be "operated" by humans but will need regular maintenance and stocking. You can pay the repairman $50 /hr once or twice a month and one guy restocking the machine the $15 hr to do that and sack the orders for the clerk. A two man crew to crank out the same product as any major burger joint at rush hour.
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  9. #9  
    Destroyer of Worlds Apocalypse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    It won't be "operated" by humans but will need regular maintenance and stocking. You can pay the repairman $50 /hr once or twice a month and one guy restocking the machine the $15 hr to do that and sack the orders for the clerk. A two man crew to crank out the same product as any major burger joint at rush hour.
    What clerk?



    McDonalds is testing these out in Europe right now. Order from a Kiosk and pay there. No clerk needed.

    All you really need is some one to restock the machine, and clean up around the place. The machine sacks the burger as well as cooks it.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by thundley4 View Post
    I dunno about that. If the company making the machines are unionized, the unions aren't losing anything but potential members in lost burger flippers.

    I personally think McDonald's should take the plunge and allow unions. People voted their burgers the worst, so not much quality can be lost. But the public needs to see what effect the higher minimum wage and unionization would do to a major chain.
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