Technology

Ecolab invests in Miso Robotics, maker of Flippy

As part of the multi-million-dollar-investment, the companies plan to work together on automated cleaning solutions.
Flippy with food
Flippy is a robotic arm designed to work the fryer. / Photo courtesy of Miso Robotics

Cleaning and hygiene giant Ecolab is teaming up with Miso Robotics, the company that makes Flippy the automated fry cook.

The partnership includes a “multi-million dollar” growth investment from Ecolab. The two companies will also collaborate on automated cleaning solutions, they said Thursday, though they did not go into detail about what that might look like.

"Ecolab's expertise and leadership in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services are unparalleled, and we look forward to working together to create new value for our customers and the foodservice industry at large,” said Buck Jordan, Miso’s founder and chairman, in a statement.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Miso is best known for Flippy, a robotic, AI-powered arm designed to work the fryer. It’s currently being piloted by a number of fast-food chains, including White Castle, Jack in the Box and Wing Zone.

The publicly traded Ecolab offers food safety, hygiene and cleaning products and services in a variety of industries including food, hospitality and healthcare, in 170 countries.

Miso has raised nearly $100 million since it was founded in 2016, according to CrunchBase. Much of that capital has come from crowdfunding.  

The deal shows how automation is making its way into more areas of the restaurant business, from order taking to cooking and now, possibly, cleaning. The technology could help restaurants run more efficiently amid rising costs and smaller staffs.

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