Miso Robotics, a Pasadena developer and manufacture of artificial intelligence-driven robots that assist chefs in making food at restaurants, has secured a $10 million Series-B from Acacia Research and Levy Restaurants in its latest round of VC funding according to Tech Crunch.
In total, Acacia Research has plowed about $14 million into the deal. The company, which has developed artificial intelligence-driven hamburger-cooking robots will begin flipping burgers at CaliBurger in Pasadena, California in the second-half of 2018 and expand to over fifty locations by the end of 2019.
“We’re super stoked to use this funding to develop and scale our capabilities of our kitchen assistants and AI platform,” CEO/co-founder Dave Zito said on a call with TechCrunch ahead of the announcement.
“Our current investors saw an early look at our progress, and they were so blown away that they doubled-down.”
Flippy, an industrial robotic arm mounted to the ground and modified for use in a commercial kitchen, is really nothing more than a knock-off of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci Surgical System, but instead of the EndoWrist performing complex surgeries, there is a metal spatula flipping burgers. The core of the robotic arm is manufactured by Fanuc America and incorporates “Miso Robotics’ cloud AI platform to operate the robot using a combination of cameras, thermal scanners, and lasers,” said Venture Beat.
Miso cofounder David Zito told VentureBeat in a phone interview:
“Flippy can detect cheeseburgers and remove cheeseburgers. After they’re flipped, it can change spatulas while it’s working so that we’re actually adhering to food safety guidelines, and will switch to a grill scraper and be able to clean off portions of the grill after it’s done cooking burgers,” he said.
“The proceeds for this will allow us to build a robotic kitchen assistant,” Zito said. “You’re not going to see BB-8 coming out of our shop; you’ll likely see us continue to refine this — the general hardware platform that we have, but then we will see it beginning to get more collaborative and adaptable.”