The Animatronics Wizard Martin Buehler of Disney is a legend in the robotics world. His work, which spurred on the development of the galloping Big Dog at Boston Dynamics inspired and frightened a new generation of creators. But after playing in the world of fantasy and the science-fiction world that consumers can not buy, Buehler has been forced to work on something much more tangible. It is actually edible. He joins the bartending robot startup creator as VP of Engineering.
"It has been a great experience in experimental validation [at Boston Dynamics]." Buehler tells me, "But one of the things I really appreciate about Creator is the immediacy of the real impact on real people. With Burgers (1
Formerly known as Momentum Machines, Creator has collected over $ 24 million under the SEC records. It hopes to make fast food healthier, tastier and cheaper by cutting labor costs and replacing preserved ingredients with world-class freshly cut beef, cheese and vegetables. Users can choose from a variety of burger types and then watch their buns being sliced and roasted while a conveyor belt pushes them under the dispensers for other fixins. Instead of cooking, the restaurant staff serve the concierge customer while the robot is full.
With the support of Buehler, Creator has been able to make the robot more efficient and flexible, to handle more custom orders, and to watch it … and Instagram. The entire restaurant industry is trying to become more divisible with cheesy decor and social media plating. The robot gives Creator a natural virality by making the cooking process itself an entertainment – like a futuristic Benihana.
"At Disney, I was responsible for robotics at Imagineering. Using advanced robotics and AI to bring Disney characters to life with movement and entertainment, our guests who meet the characters on the canvas can first meet and interact with them in the parks. What I really learned was to position the technology as a second fiddle for the guest experience, "he says.
Buehler describes Creator as "an impressive movement symphony – the visual experience supports the central culinary experience. Many robotic companies have been downsizing because they fall in love with technology and lose track of what's needed to add value to customers. "Creator's approach has been successful so far. The company claims to reach its sales targets and have a higher net promoter score than the fast food favorite Chick-Fil-A.
The company's success, however, depends on its scalability. Creator co-founder and CEO Alex Vardakostas reveals that "the next announcement will be more burger shops". This means that the creator device can not be a one-off work of art. "Right now" At the moment, the task is to make the current robot scalable – making it cheaper and more reliable so we can offer robots for many more restaurants, "says Buehler.
The concern, however, is that the creator could be the Being the tip of the spear of automation that decimates employment as restaurant staff are replaced by bots, Vardakostas grew up and made his own burgers in his parents' restaurant and he believes that machines can do the dirty and dangerous work that people might do The company pays $ 16 an hour to its service employees and offers "five percent time" to spend time reading or learning the culinary arts. Being able to reframe food chefs in robot maintenance to provide them with a way to pay more.  "The founders' basic mission is to build a corporate culture focused on learning and personal development. I like the aspect of the return service, "says Buehler. "All team members receive coaching to help them grow not only technically, but personally as well."
In a pleasant restaurant, seemingly happy workers and their eye-catching robot work together to prepare remarkably delicious burgers. With the help of Buehler, Creator has been able to expand beyond the seemingly fictional world of Silicon Valley and distract McDonalds from people who value food quality.