Hungry consumers in downtown Pasadena, Calif., can now get their next quick bite to eat cooked by robots.
Miso Robotics has teamed with Cali Group and PopID to recently launch CaliExpress, an autonomous burger restaurant.
The eatery uses Miso’s propriety technology to automate the grill and fry stations, while PopID takes orders and payments through kiosks. It also offers personalized order recommendations and a facial recognition payment option.
For the menu, the restaurant keeps it simple, comprising burgers, cheeseburgers and fries. When a customer orders a burger, the grill robot grinds beef in real-time, right after the order is placed. This creates “freshly crafted burgers featuring a wagyu blend at competitive prices, rivalling other premium burgers using conventional meat,” Cali Group wrote in a statement.
Meanwhile, Flippy, the renowned robotic fry station will cook up crispy fries. Although Miso has deployed Flippy in chains like White Castle and Jack in the Box across the country, this is a first for the company in setting up its own restaurant to be fully automated.
“AI-powered robotic order-taking and cooking enable major chains that feed America to substantially improve quality, consistency, and speed,” said Rich Hull, CEO of Miso Robotics.
“Miso is proud to partner with Cali Group and PopID to make CaliExpress by Flippy a reality. Flippy has been an incredible success story, and now everyone in Southern California can come take a look and a taste for themselves.”
Human employees will still be present at CaliExpress, but only a few, to pack the food and assist customers when needed.
Inspiring next-gen kitchen AI
CaliExpress joins several other robot-staffed, fast-casual concepts. Remy Robotics, for example, launched an autonomously-ran restaurant concept in NYC, while chains like Sweetgreen continue to test new technologies to automate back-of-house tasks.
As these advancements in kitchen innovation continue, Miso states it aims for CaliExpress’s design to inspire the next generation of kitchen AI and automation entrepreneurs. Adding that the restaurant is meant to serve as a “pseudo-museum experience” featuring dancing robot arms from retired Flippy units, experimental 3D-printed artifacts from past development, photo displays and more.
The companies encourage local schools and educational groups to reach out for tours.