How do you feel about robots cooking your dinner?
Imagine you’re standing in line waiting for a hamburger at the football; you turn to the counter to place your order, but spot that the grill in the back is actually being manned by a robot, who’s cheerfully flipping your burger.
Sound far-fetched? Well, if you’re a baseball fan in LA this season, it’s a reality.
“Flippy”, the robot hamburger flipper, has a new role with the LA Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, and contracted until the end of the season. This isn’t Flippy’s first job either, the robot burger flipper has also worked at CaliBurger in Pasadena.
Flippy isn’t the perfect employee just yet; it isn’t able to add cheese or pickles to the top of burgers for example. But what the robot represents for the traditionally unstable industry cannot be overstated.
The employee turnover rate in a year for the US fast food industry is 153%, and 40% in just the first 90 days of employment, which incurs enormous hiring and training costs for employers. In comparison, robots and AI are not only cost efficient, but are able to produce a consistently quality product.
In Australia, there are changes in the fast food industry as a result of robotics and AI too. Domino’s Australia is employing AI technology to perform quality-checks on every pizza that they produce. This technology is called Checked by DRU AI Pizza Checker, and the company says it will address the most common complaints – incorrect toppings and poorly made pizzas.
More ambitious yet is Domino’s pizza delivery robot, which can navigate its way down streets, around people, and across roads. The new service will first be available in Hamburg, Germany, where orders will be accompanied by an option for “robot delivery”. The company is also trialling the automated service in other markets across Europe and in the United States.
The most exciting element of these developments is that they represent only the very tip of the iceberg. AI and robotics is already a $200 billion industry, but by 2035 it is forecast to grow to $1 trillion. As a result, firms are staking large amounts of capital on AI and robotics being a significant part of their futures.
This is an industry that is still in its infancy, but its future growth appears inevitable on the basis of the AI and robotics investment that is occurring right now. For investors, having such a clear indication of the direction of the market presents significant opportunities to be an early adopter, and to get to watch the subject of their investments become integral parts of daily life.
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