The Engineering Life - Around the Web
You don't know the meaning of fast food until you've had a burger made by a robot.
Fast food is fast, but is it fast enough? Not according to Alexandros Vardakostas, founder of robotics firm Momentum Machines, whose new “Burgeon” can churn out a burger every 16 seconds.
The 27-year-old physics graduate from UC Santa Barbara believes his robotic burger flipper could replace real life line chefs and get down to the even more time efficient finished burger every 10 seconds. Now that’s fast.
The machine makes burgers from soup to nuts, grinding the meat itself, pounding out the meat patties, grilling it, toasting the buns, slicing the tomatoes, lettuce and pickles and finally, bagging the burger for hungry customers to pick up and go. The entire process happens in less than five minutes, with fresh burgers popping off the line every 16 seconds, 360 burgers an hour.
"Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better," is the bold claim on Momentum’s website, in case anyone was worried that a machine made burger just couldn’t cut it.
The next version, Momentum promises, will improve on burger making even further. Want custom meat grinds? A patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground after you place your order? No problem. Have it your way.
The Burgeon will also apparently use “gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant” to give the patty the perfect char while retaining all its juices.
For now, though, your local student’s job seems relatively safe; the prototype device is still apparently sitting in a warehouse in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood while the founders raise more funding and improve on their menus.
One question left lingering, however. Does it make good fries?