Back in 2017, fast-food restaurant CaliBurger introduced its newest employee: Flippy.

Flippy is a burger-flipping robot.

Its iconic feature is an arm that can flip burgers on a griddle.

burger flipping robot

It can also:

  • Deep fry a basket of chicken tenders.
  • Prepare french fries.
  • Clean its spatula in-between batches of burgers.

Flippy’s sensors and cameras ensure that it cooks everything perfectly each time.

And Flippy doesn’t get exhausted or hurt from standing in front of hot griddles and oil all day.

Since its debut, Flippy has also managed to get jobs at Dodger Stadium and White Castle.

Still, Flippy isn’t something you see at most fast-food restaurants.

But that may be about to change soon.

Why Businesses Are Being Pushed to Automate

According to industry group A3, North American companies added a record number of robots in 2021.

Businesses ordered 37% more robots than last year.

Historically, auto manufacturers have been the No. 1 buyer of robots.

But this year, their orders only increased 20%.

Meanwhile, non-automotive orders increased 53%.

This includes sectors like metal fabrication and food manufacturing.

The Rush to Add More Robots

Post-pandemic conditions are driving the rush to add more robots.

Demand has risen sharply, leading to shortages of key goods.

But companies are unable to increase the supply of these goods. So far, they’ve been unsuccessful at bringing back workers.

Not to mention robots have gotten cheaper since the 1990s, especially when compared to labor.

According to a McKinsey analysis, labor costs have more than doubled in the last 30 years.

In the same time, the cost of automation has fallen by half.

cost of automation chart

This has motivated many companies to add more robots.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the industrial robotics market will increase 78% by 2026.

Flippy is responding to this growth in demand.

Flippy’s siblings, Flippy 2 and Flippy Wings, will launch in early 2022.

How to Invest in Industrial Automation

One option is to buy the Robo Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSE: ROBO).

ROBO invests in:

  • Robotics.
  • Automation.
  • And more exciting tech trends.

It’s already up 32% in the last year.

But if you’re looking for a more lucrative investment, focus on these robots’ eyes and ears.

Their sensors and cameras are what allow them to perform precise tasks.

The companies that provide these technologies are headed for success in the near future.

Check out Ian King’s Strategic Fortunes service for one of the hottest sensor stocks.


Andrew Prince

Research Analyst, Strategic Fortunes


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