Fast(er) food: Robot can make 400 burgers an hour

Late-night fast food runs just became a lot more efficient

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400 burgers per hour. That number, depending on the person, either sounds like a really interesting or repulsive dinner date.

For culinary robotics company Momentum Machines, it’s just another typical day at work. The firm’s new robot can cook patties, chop up toppings, toast buns and assemble ingredients for hundreds of burgers. That’s 3,200 burgers at the end of a typical eight-hour work day, or even 9,600 burgers for a 24-hour joint like McDonald’s.

You get the point. It’s a lot.

The bot’s price is currently around $30,000 (£2400). It sounds hefty but would arguably pay for itself, when restaurant owners factor in the money they would save by cutting costs like employees’ wages.

Talking of which, that brings us to the inevitable flip-side [sorry] of the innovation – rising rates of human unemployment. The numbers for people at risk of job losses in the transportation, retail and factory industries are already dire enough, with a report stating those workers can expect a job redundancy rate anywhere between 60% and 74% by 2036 at the fault of robots. Fast-food employees can now count themselves amongst that number.

If you really value the undeniable effort and care human chefs put into making your sandwich, no need to fear. Momentum Machines is a US-based company, and only has plans to open one California restaurant so far.

There’s also the possibility that robo-burger flippers might not be as successful as their efficiency suggests. Last year, a number of restaurants in the Chinese city of Guangzhou were forced to close down due to hiring useless robot waiters.

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