H LV <hveeder...@gmail.com> wrote:

​Btw, a so called "burger flipper" isn't hired just to flip burgers. Even
> if you had an unlimited budget with current technology you could not build
> a robot to perform all the tasks a "burger flipper" does at a restaurant.
>

That is true. Engineers are still replacing one job at a time with robots
of limited capacity. These robots resemble non-robotic restaurant machinery
such as dish washing machines or rotisserie cookers. They are
single-function machines.

The same is true of the robots used to move shelves in the Amazon.com
warehouses. All they do is move shelves, bringing goods to people who then
pick the goods from the shelf and put them in boxes.

However, I expect Amazon will soon have robots that pick the goods from the
shelf and put them in boxes, eliminating people from this step. Amazon
sponsors an engineering competition to develop that capability.

The Amazon warehouse has a limited set of procedures, so I suppose a dozen
different single-purpose robot types could probably do nearly every job.
There is no need for a multipurpose humanoid robot capable of two or more
jobs.

In a kitchen or fast food restaurant, there are probably more different
types of jobs than in the Amazon warehouse. I suppose that cracking and
mixing eggs calls for different kind of robot tools and different software
than, say, assembling a hamburger sandwich or scooping french fries. So, to
fully automate a fast food restaurant with a small number of robot types,
you would need general purpose robots with considerably more computer power
and stronger artificial intelligence than today's best machines. I think
such robots will inevitably be developed. In 10 or 20 years they will be
cheap and widely available.

- Jed

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