The rise of the robochef

CREATOR, a new hamburger joint in San Francisco, claims to deliver a burger worth $18 for $6—in other words, to provide the quality associated with posh restaurants at a fast-food price. The substance behind this claim is that its chef-de-cuisine is a robot.

Until recently, catering robots have been gimmicks. “Flippy”, a robotic arm that flipped burgers for the entertainment of customers at CaliBurger in Pasadena, near Los Angeles, earlier this year is a prime example. But Flippy could perform only one task. Creator’s bot automates the whole process of preparing a burger. And it is not alone. Other robot chefs that can prepare entire meals are working, or soon will be, in kitchens in other parts of America, and in China and Britain.

Creator’s burger bot is a trolley-sized unit that has a footprint of two square metres. Customers send it their orders via a tablet. They are able to customise everything from how well-done the burger will be to the type of…Continue reading

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