In a White Castle just southeast of Chicago, the 100-year-old purveyor of fast food has played host for the past year to an unusual, and unusually hardworking, employee: a robotic fry cook.

Flippy, as the robot is known, is no gimmick, says Jamie Richardson, a White Castle vice president. It works 23 hours a day (one hour is reserved for cleaning) and has operated almost continuously for the past year, manning—or robot-ing—the fry station at White Castle No. 42 in Merrillville, Ind. An industrial robot arm sheathed in a grease-proof, white fabric sleeve, it slides along a rail attached to the ceiling, lifting and lowering each basket when ready, immune to spatters and spills. White Castle is so pleased with Flippy’s performance that, in partnership with its maker, Miso Robotics, the chain plans to roll out an improved version, Flippy 2.0, to 10 more of its restaurants across the country.

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