Restaurant Robots — for Real

One thing you can’t help noticing if you follow news about automation in general and robots in particular is that robots in many industries are always just around the corner.

Sometimes there are years of proof of concept experiments and early adopter stories and yet at the end of the day (or decade) robots can’t really take on the work that researchers have been predicting they’ll be able to do.

This may be true for restaurants.

Restaurant robots

We’ve written about plenty of fast food robots:

There are lots more examples. And when, as the pandemic took hold and then began to wind down, we saw that the hospitality industry needed more workers than it could get and contactless food had become desirable, we thought fast food might really be taken over by robots.

Not so, says McDonald’s. In a call with Restaurant Dive, CEO Chris Kempczinsk confided, “The idea of robots and all of those things, while it may be great for garnering headlines, it’s not practical for the vast majority of restaurants…You’re not going to see that as a broad-based solution anytime soon.”

What’s wrong with restaurant robots?

Miso Robotics, makers of Flippy and Flippy Wings, not the mention Chippy and Sippy, is probably the world’s most successful maker of restaurant robots.

But their robots are designed to perform repetitive tasks consistently. Robots are good at that.

They’re not so good at understanding complex orders, responding to social cues, and handling random unpredictable events all of which are par for the course in restaurants. They don’t do a good job at customer service, and they can’t show versatility in a work situation that may throw surprises at them every day.

In manufacturing, printing, and similar industries, repetitive and predictable are good things. Rexroth motion control gives you the perfect balance of precision and power. When your Rexroth drive and control systems need service and support, we can help.

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