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An AI burger joint with the slogan: "Eat the future, pay with your face"

As if in a frame from a dystopian science fiction film, a new Flippy CaliExpress restaurant has opened in northeast Los Angeles, claiming to be the world's first fully autonomous restaurant. This futuristic diner, controlled by robots with artificial intelligence, promises to serve instant burgers and potatoes.

The diner is located near the California University of Technology in Pasadena. On the facade there are giant posters advertising a "miracle robot with artificial intelligence for frying" and early prototypes of robotic manipulators decorating the walls. The original design solution is a fragment of Michelangelo's fresco in the Sistine Chapel, where a human hand reaches not to the hand of God, but to a robotic manipulator holding French fries. The world is becoming more technological, but it seems that people's priorities have changed.

One of the key "chips" of the institution is the PopID facial recognition system, which allows you to "pay with one smile" by tying your face to a credit or debit card. Most visitors were alarmed by the prospect of handing over their biometric data for a burger, and the terminal is usually deserted.

The restaurant is the result of the collaboration of several companies that are testing the possibilities of automated food production. The burger-making machine, dubbed "BurgerChef," is manufactured by Cucina, a company specializing in food automation to combat "a 65% increase in wages in the catering industry over the past 15 years." The robot for cooking French fries, aptly named "Flippy", was created by a local startup Miso Robotics, founded by graduates of the California Institute of Technology.

According to Rob Anderson, one of the co-founders of Miso Robotics, Flippy's artificial intelligence components were designed to solve subtle and complex tasks, such as adapting to kitchens of different sizes and stoves. His computer vision constantly monitored the placement of frying baskets, allowing adjustments to be made if an employee moved one of them to another place. Flippy could also identify different types of foods, such as onion rings or chicken wings, and automatically adjust their cooking time.

Anderson stressed that Flippy was not designed to completely replace people, but rather as a "tool" that makes their work easier and safer. Employees will need to master skills such as cleaning and maintenance of the robot, as well as more direct interaction with customers. However, the introduction of such robots into kitchen "hot spots" can seriously protect workers and prevent industrial injuries.

But what about taste and speed? Diner visitors note the high taste and aesthetic qualities of the "robotic" French fries, but the burger is called mediocre. The speed of service could not become an advantage of the robot and compete with the refined conveyor manufactured by McDonald's.

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