Walmart is reportedly testing a burger-flipping robot as the company doubles down on automation
- Walmart is testing a burger-flipping robot called Flippy at its headquarters, Yahoo Finance reports.
- While Flippy can grill up to 150 burgers an hour, Walmart is interested in using the robot to fry foods in the stores' delis.
- Walmart is making major investments in automation, rolling out a floor-scrubbing robot at dozens of locations and testing automated carts that can pick and pack shoppers' orders.
Walmart is testing a burger-flipping robot.
Flippy, a robot developed by Miso Robotics to act as a kitchen assistant, is now being tested in Walmart's Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters, Yahoo Finance reports. Flippy - which can grill 150 burger patties an hour - currently costs between $60,000 and $100,000.While Flippy is only being tested at Walmart's headquarters now, the robot could begin taking over some repetitive tasks in Walmart delis' kitchens if the test goes well. Flippy is intended to act as an autonomous arm, moving chicken tenders and mozzarella sticks into the correct fryer, evenly cooking them, and then removing the basket of fried food from the hot oil.
A spokesperson for Walmart did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.
The Flippy test comes at a time when Walmart is increasingly using robots to complete tasks traditionally done by human workers.
Walmart plans to deploy a floor-scrubbing robot - already in use at more than 70 stores - to more than 360 US stores. The retailer is also testing automated robotic carts that can pick and pack shoppers' online grocery orders.
"What we want to do is assist the hardworking linemen cooks and chefs in America with tools to give them the ability to faithfully reproduce while taking the burden off some of these more repetitive and mundane tasks," Zito said.
Walmart isn't alone in its interest in Flippy.
Burger chain CaliBurger plans to install the burger-flipping robot at most of its roughly 50 locations by the end of 2019, the company said earlier this year. And, Flippy helped prepare 17,000 pounds worth of fried food through the World Series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.