Burger-making machine could replace human workers
1st December 2012
A company called Momentum Machines aims to revolutionise the fast food industry with a new machine that can produce hamburgers at industrial speeds.
Yet another industry could soon be handed over to machines, as automation continues its unending progress. San Francisco-based Momentum Machines is planning a new chain of restaurants in which food preparation and cooking is done entirely by robots at a rate of 400 burgers per hour. Customers will have the option of precisely tailoring their burger and the finished product will even arrive in a neatly-wrapped bag.
The company claims their machine "does everything employees can do except better" and could save the country $9 billion a year in labour. These savings could allow restaurants to spend twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques for making the ingredients taste better. It would also improve hygiene, as well as reducing preparation space and real estate requirements, with an entire kitchen being replaced by a small metallic box. Staff would be more relaxed and less stressed with a robot doing most of the hard work, making customer service better.
The company aims to market its machines to third parties including other restaurants, convenience stores, food trucks and even in vending applications.
What will this mean for jobs in the future? Momentum Machines has this to say:
"The issue of machines and job displacement has been around for centuries and economists generally accept that technology like ours actually causes an increase in employment. The three factors that contribute to this are:
1. the company that makes the robots must hire new employees,
2. the restaurant that uses our robots can expand their frontiers of production which requires hiring more people,
3. the general public saves money on the reduced cost of our burgers. This saved money can then be spent on the rest of the economy. We take these issues very seriously so please feel free to tell us how we can help with this transition."
You can read more at their website.