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Demand for Robot Cooks Rises as Kitchens Combat Covid-19


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A technician makes an adjustment to a robot at Miso Robotics' White Castle test kitchen in Pasadena, CA.

Robots increasingly are stepping up to the stove in restaurant kitchens.

Credit: Miso Robotics/AP

Demand for cooking robots is growing as restaurant kitchens strive to combat Covid-19, with the White Castle burger chain planning to test a robot arm from Miso Robotics this fall.

The robot, dubbed Flippy, can make french fries and other foods.

White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson said Flippy can free up employees for other tasks, like disinfecting tables or handling more deliveries.

Meanwhile, the Blendid startup sells a robot kiosk that makes smoothies, which customers can order through a smartphone app.

The shutdown of salad bars has boosted interest in Sally, a robot from developer Chowbotics that prepares salads and bowls from customer-selected ingredients.

The Institute for the Future's Max Elder doubts widescale use of food-prepping robots will last beyond the pandemic, but advocates like Richardson say the technology should complement food-service workers, as well as addressing labor shortages.

From Associated Press
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