[ExI] roboburgers to go

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Sep 24 20:26:21 UTC 2013


From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 1:06 PM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] roboburgers to go


On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:


We knew this was going to happen eventually.  A local company did this.  The
timing is interesting, since the fast food workers are threatening to strike
unless their wages are raised way above minimum.  Check it outwardly:




>.I'll be sending them my resume... :-) This could be huge. The richest guy
in the state of Utah made a lot of his money selling the styrofoam plastic
shell McDonald's used for years.





Kelly if they hire you, I will be the head of the
welcome-to-the-neighborhood-Kelly committee.


>.This could be huge.


That's what I was thinking too Kelly.  If a local fast food place could set
up a lights-out kitchen, I would go out of my way to eat there.  It has
nothing to do with busting unions or any kind of labor warrior capitalist
anything, but rather just that it seems so cool to me.  I suppose I could
argue it has the potential to be so much cleaner with no proles working back
there, but even that isn't really it.  I just like the notion of robots
making my lunch.  I am addicted to tech.  


I briefly worked in a fast food place in my misspent youth, and watched (I
worked the register, never did work the kitchen.)  It occurred to me way
back in the 1970s that the process could be automated, long before I knew a
damn thing about controls engineering.  In retrospect, I am surprised it has
taken this long.  This robot would solve so many problems.  


In a fast food restaurant even on a hopping evening, there are lulls, where
you have about four cooks standing around in back doing nothing, at least
one person always on the till doing nothing, sometimes a separate cleaning
guy maybe doing a piddling nothing in a spotless dining room, and at least
one shift manager in his office, doing nothing.  This can go on for ten or
fifteen minutes, with not one customer walking thru the door.  


Experiment: go to a fast food restaurant some evening away from peak hours,
watch and calculate, or at least estimate, knowing the cost of a worker is a
minimum of about 22, 23-ish bucks an hour for the lowest tier, managers
about 40-ish.  Count the number of happy meals going across the counter.
Estimate that cost per hour, then figure the capital cost of a robot with
one guy watching and maintaining, make him a 60 dollar an hour guy if you
want, a low-end technician level.  Compare.  They could sell those burgers
20 percent below McDonalds.  I will eat them, even if they just match the




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