Editor's take: While automating the cooking process would remove the human element from the equation, which some may frown upon, it would introduce some much-needed consistency. It can be irritating when the same menu item is prepared in a completely different manner between locations simply based on how the person behind the grill believes it should be cooked or presented. Having a robot cook manning the spatula would ensure it is cooked the same way each and every time.

American hamburger chain White Castle on Tuesday announced a partnership with Miso Robotics to pilot its autonomous kitchen assistant in select restaurants later this year.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has forced virtually every sector to reexamine how they conduct business and the restaurant industry is no exception. Flippy, the robot-on-a-rail (ROAR) system introduced by Miso earlier this year, will reduce human contact with food, thus adding an additional layer of safety during the cooking process.

The robotic kitchen helper is also expected to improve efficiency and reduce labor needs in the kitchen, allowing White Castle to redeploy team members or reduce the number of employees needed to staff a location.

White Castle will deploy Flippy in select restaurants this fall where management will gauge various metrics including production, quality, taste and POS integration. Assuming there aren't any major hiccups, White Castle will look to bring the robotic kitchen assistant to additional locations at a later date.

Image credit: Ken Wolter, AVC Originals