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This burger vending machine is a restaurant in miniature

We’ve already seen vending machines serving up burgers, but they’re usually little more than glorified microwave ovens.

RoboBurger, on the other hand, claims to be the world’s first fully autonomous robotic burger chef. That means it cooks the beef patties from scratch, toasts the bun, and adds the condiments before serving it up to waiting customers who fancy a change from McDonald’s.

Launched this week at the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City, the folks behind RoboBurger described their creation as “an artificially intelligent, self-operating, patented kitchen designed to include all the processes of a restaurant at a fraction of the size.”

Inside the 12-square-foot metal box are a refrigerator and an automated, self-cleaning griddle. And, of course, all the ingredients to fulfill an order.

The high-tech vending machine also incorporates a large touchscreen on which hungry customers can place their orders in just a few taps. But don’t expect the kind of burger variety that you might find at your local fast food outlet, as RoboBurger only lets you choose whether your order should include ketchup, mustard, or melted cheese. When you’re done, payment is made with the swipe of a card.

A burger from RoboBurger takes about six minutes to prepare from order selection to delivery and costs $7. If it’s anything like the one shown in the video, it does look darn tasty.

“I started RoboBurger in my garage 17 years ago, and now there couldn’t be a better time to bring it to life and have everyone experience it,” said Audley Wilson, RoboBurger co-founder and CEO. “RoboBurger gives everyone freshly grilled, delicious burgers while ensuring a safe, contactless experience.”

For those conscious about food hygiene and freshness, Wilson adds that burgers from the machine “always come out piping hot and are never pre-cooked and kept warm.”

Depending on the success of the machine at the mall, RoboBurger could also find its way to colleges, workplaces, and airport lounges, perhaps alongside a pizza vending machine.

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