Published : Thursday, July 26, 2018 | 2:09 PM
Flippy, the burger flipping robot that debuted earlier this year at a Caliburger restaurant in Pasadena, will start cooking fried chicken tenders at Dodger Stadium in August, becoming the first robotic kitchen assistant to work in a North American sports venue.
Miso Robotics, the Pasadena-based AI (artificial intelligence) company that assembled Flippy, said the robotic assistant will work alongside stadium employees to cook and serve fresh chicken tenders and tater tots around the middle of next month.
The Dodgers Stadium attracts as many as 50,000 customers daily, says a USA Today report.
“Flippy is being called to the majors,” David Zito, Miso Robotics CEO, told the news magazine.
Miso Robotics agreed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, its hospitality partner Levy, and its tech and analytics company E15 Group, to bring AI and robotics to the stadium’s kitchen, completing some of the more time-consuming, repetitive tasks, and allowing all employees currently working at the stand to take on more strategic guest-focused roles. Employees will manage the kitchen assistant, finish dishes, and interact more with fans and guests, according to a joint press release.
“Levy and Miso are doing some very creative things to blend technology and food service, and as a forward-thinking company ourselves, we’re grateful for the opportunity to test and implement it at Dodger Stadium,” Tucker Kain, the Dodgers’ Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of Guggenheim Baseball Management, said. “When it comes to our food experience, we’re all for advances that help with quality and speed of service for our fans.”
Levy and Miso started a strategic partnership in March to trial and assess AI and robotic assistants in sports and entertainment venues. The Dodgers Stadium project builds on that partnership and Flippy’s successful debut as the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant.
After Levy participated in Miso’s Series B funding round, the two companies collaborated to expand the robotic kitchen assistant’s skillset and test its fry-cooking abilities in a concessions setting. Levy chefs also trained one-on-one with Flippy to help Miso perfect the cooking process.
“Speed of service and food quality form lasting impressions when fans leave a ballgame,” Jaime Faulkner, CEO of E15, said. “AI and robotics have the potential to enhance both areas, while allowing employees to add value to the fan experience through more one-on-one interaction; technology that enables employees to be more successful will influence the future fan experience.”
Zito said adapting Flippy into a fryer assistant with the Levy team has been a great opportunity to demonstrate the scale of his company’s platform.
“We shared the vision that this technology would be a win-win – improving working conditions for stadium employees and improving the game experience for fans,” Zito said.
The Dodger Stadium pilot project is scheduled to run through the end of the 2018 Dodgers season.