Robotic hamburger stand from 1964

Yesterday I posted about a robotic hamburger shack opening in San Francisco. Nicholas Perry watched it and tweeted this video of a robotic hamburger machine made by AMF in 1964.

AMF is the company that makes the amazing pin resetting machines in bowling alleys. The AMFare system made 16 kinds of food and was controlled by a giant button filled console called Orbis.

Fifty years ago, the engineers of AMF's Central Research Labs in Stamford, CT invented automated foodservice. This entertaining film (circa 1964) describes a pilot operation for the then-burgeoning fast-food industry.

Watch as hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, seafood, french-fries, onion rings, shakes, and soft drinks are ordered, prepared, and packaged automatically by AMF's revolutionary AMFare System.

All the food was delicious, especially the flame-broiled hamburgers, double-hamburgers and cheeseburgers. The entire menu was cooked-to-order and served in minutes – at the desired temperature for each item.

AMF's Orbis system (shown here) pioneered the concept of electronic ordering, price tabulation, and inventory management in foodservice. Today that is the standard worldwide. However, AMF's Orbis system went further; it electronically controlled the machinery that prepared, cooked, and packaged the food items. AMF's automated beverage dispensers (also shown here) are today common at the "drive-through windows" of many fast-food operations.

I made an MP3 clip of my favorite part. A guy with a New York accent placing his order with: "One double burger, french fries, and a root beer."