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This Burger Robot Makes Better Burgers Than You Do

A restaurant in San Francisco has changed the face of fast food: instead of employing cooks to flip burgers, they invented a robot. It slices the vegetables, grates the cheese, grills the meat and arranges your burger for you before your eyes. The future of fast food is here, and it looks tasty as heck. 

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  • photo of burger machine in creator restaurant
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    Via Fortune

    If you've ever worked in the hospitality industry, you'll be pretty familiar with the feeling of monotony as you do the same thing over and over again. Well, burger flippers rejoice (or despair), there is a robot that can now do your job. 

    The founder of Creator, Alex Vardakostas (a previous burger flipper) decided to create a burger-making robot. This is not a Subway-style restaurant where everything is prepared in the morning and gets older as the day passes: this robot makes you a *freshly* made burger. And apparently they're pretty tasty.


  • gif of bread bun being sliced inside burger robot
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    Via Giphy

    This burger robot is the first of it's kind. There are other robots that can perform portions of this process, but none that can make a fresh burger from start to finish. The burger robot is 14 feet long, and has 350 sensors and 20 computers to ensure that the sauces and spices are dispensed to the milligram. 



  • picture onions and tomatos inside glass tubes in burger robot
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    Via BBC

    The robot begins making your burger by slicing a bun with a vibrating knife, then the bun is sliced and buttered before moving to the condiment belt. The spices and sauces (selected by the customer) are dispensed precisely, then onion, tomato and pickles are sliced directly onto the bun, followed by cheese that is also grated onto the bun. All of this happens at the front of the robot in glass tubes, so customers can watch their burger being made. 



  • cheese and sauce being put onto burger in burger robot
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    Via Giphy

    While this is happening, the meat is being prepared at the back of the robot. The steak and brisket are freshly ground, then hung vertically and pressed together. This method makes the patty juicier and more tender than mashing the meat together. The robot then grills the meat, with AI ensuring the patty is cooked to perfection. The burger patties are Creator are made using Heston Blumenthal's perfectionist method for a "vertically aligned" patty, meaning that the grain of the burger runs in the same direction as your teeth (which apparently makes it more delicious). 



  • picture burger patty being served onto burger bun in burger robot
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    Via Bloomberg

    The patty is then dropped onto the bun, sprinkled with spices, and a human server delivers your burger to you. Yes, humans still work at Creator. Vardakostas believes that since the robot does the dirty work, the human workers there can develop other skills (apparently they are encouraged to spend 5% of their working time reading). The restaurant pays $16 an hour (which is 41 cents above the minimum wage in California), uses sustainably sourced ingredients, and apparently offers better working conditions for staff - all because of the savings in human labor. 


  • gif of burger robot putting spices onto burger patty
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    Via Giphy

    Vardakostas isn't trying to revolutionize the fast food industry, but it seems highly likely that fast food companies will catch onto this technology pretty soon, given the reception of this burger robot. Vardakostas is more interested in saving money in one area so it can be used to enhance other areas of the business, like worker wages, better ingredients and better customer experiences. The same can't be said for McDonalds. 

    We don't know if the invention of this robot will change the fast food industry, but food-making robots were always going to happen (vending machine restaurants have been around for a while in Japan). And since this is likely going to become more common as technology improves, we might as well throw aside our fears and enjoy the culinary expertise of robots like this one. 

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