It might not be too long before the newest fast food employees are robots. Momentum Machines has built a burger bot that does exactly what it sounds like -- they efficiently make burgers.
“Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient,” cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas said. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”
The burger bot is less of a humanoid and more of a burger assembly line, with ingredients stored in automated containers. Nothing is pre-prepared, the bot does all the work from charring, slicing and assembling fresh burgers.
The benefits of the burger bots are that they can improve consistency, sanitation, and can work at a much faster pace than humans. It takes just 10 seconds for the bot to make a burger. Where restaurants save on hiring employees, they can spend the money on better ingredients and better overall service.
The obvious issue with the burger bot is the loss of many, many jobs. But Momentum Machines wants to help provide support to those left out in the cold.
“We want to help the people who may transition to a new job as a result of our technology the best way we know how: education," Vardakostas said.
As the creators of the burger bot point out, the loss of one kind of job usually creates opportunities for new ones. In this case, jobs for engineers and technicians would open up, but there would be a major skills gap between those losing jobs and the jobs that need filling. Momentum wants to ease this transition by partnering with vocational schools to offer discount technical training for those who lose their jobs to the burger bot. This, of course, comes with its own slew of issues that will be difficult to navigate, such as how long people will be left unemployed, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.