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April 2, 2024, 11:17 p.m.

Now there's an AI gas station with robot fry cooks - The Verge

In rural America, there exists a relatively unknown secret: the gas station is a hidden gem for the best fried food you can find (and in some cases, surprisingly delicious tikka masala). However, one convenience store chain is looking to revolutionize this perception by introducing a robotic fry cook to replace the person who may or may not have the scent of a recent smoke break and is known for cooking outstanding fried chicken liver. Re-Up, the convenience store chain, recently announced its installation of "The Wingman, " a robot developed by Nala Robotics. This innovative machine submerges fry baskets into hot oil, coats chicken wings in sauce, and then transfers these culinary delights into buckets for your consumption, as seen in the accompanying video. According to the company, the robot will utilize advanced artificial intelligence technology to offer customers fully customizable fried chicken, French fries, and various other menu items. In their press release, Re-Up stated, "The Wingman doesn't get sick, can work around the clock, and consistently produces quality dishes, resulting in improved efficiency and reduced labor costs. " However, Re-Up's focus doesn't seem to be limited to employing robot fry cooks alone. The founder of the store, Michael Salafia, explains that they aim to harness the power of AI to provide customers with convenient, personalized, and safe shopping and dining experiences.

While I always felt quite safe around Chet, who also knew my order by heart, it seems that this is the direction the future is taking. Re-Up currently operates nine stores, with plans for future expansion. One of their recently opened locations can be found in Melbourne, Florida, near Melbourne Orlando International Airport. The company's website showcases other stores in locations including Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. To emphasize their commitment to technological advancements, the website even features an image of a robotic arm dipping its robotic finger into a latte.

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