Fast food workers may be vying for $15 per hour, but what if your local McDonald’s and Burger Kings were staffed by burger-flipping robots who didn’t even need a paycheck? It sounds like the plot to a futuristic sci-fi movie, but it may soon be reality. A tech company called Momentum Machines has created a robot that is capable of flipping and topping 360 customizable burgers every hour—that’s one burger every 10 seconds, and way more efficient than your average fast food worker.
This all sounds pretty impressive, but the question of the hour is, are we looking at the beginning of the rise of the machines? Will fast food workers lose their jobs? In short, yes.
“Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient,” Momentum co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas told XConomy in 2012. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”
More recently Momentum Machines has said, “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 company has said that the company that makes the robots will have to hire employees, that the fast food chains can “Expand their frontiers of production,” (aka open more stores), and that the general public would save money by using this technology, pumping more into the economy.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi