The Rise Of Robots | CNBC Marathon

CNBC Marathon explores the rise of robots and how they are changing the economy.

A robot named Flippy runs the fry station at a White Castle outside of Chicago. White Castle said it plans to add 100 Flippy’s to its kitchens nationwide. Up to 82% of restaurant positions could, to some extent, be replaced by robots. Automation could save U.S. fast food restaurants over $12 billion in annual wages. And restaurants are also struggling to find workers. American restaurants are down more than 560,000 jobs or about 4.6% of its workforce from their pre-pandemic levels. So what impact will robots have on the fast food industry and the livelihood of its workers? CNBC got a behind the scenes look at restaurant robot maker Miso Robotics to find out.

SoftBank-funded Zume, formerly a robotic pizza start-up, is now making compostable packaging out of agricultural waste, creating a closed-loop system for customers. The $274.2 billion dollar sustainable packaging market is expected to grow to $413.8 billion by 2027, according to Grand View Research. Zume has re-commissioned its fleet of robots to compete in this growing industry. CNBC got a first look inside Zume’s packaging plant, and sat down with Zume Chairman and CEO Alex Garden to learn how compostable products could help solve the plastic waste problem.

Boston Dynamics has sparked the imaginations of the general public with its viral YouTube videos, but the company is now hoping to get the attention of paying customers. Initially, Boston Dynamics received a lot of its funding from the U.S. military and DARPA. Later, it was financed by big-name owners including Google, SoftBank and most recently, Hyundai. All of these companies have tried to steer the robot maker on a path to commercialization, and Boston Dynamics is finally getting there. CNBC got a rare look at Boston Dynamics’ office in Massachusetts, where the team showed off two of the robots they are working to commercialize: Spot and Stretch.

00:00 — Introduction
00:39 — Will Robots Replace Fast Food Workers? (Published January 2023)
11:36 — Hyped Pizza Robot Company Is Now Tackling Our Plastic Waste Problem (Published June 2021)
24:52 — How Boston Dynamics Is Building Its Robot Empire (Published October 2021)

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The Rise Of Robots | CNBC Marathon