Slideshow: Can a Machine Build a Better Hamburger?

Momentum Machines' Burger-Bot
Momentum Machines' Burger-Bot
Eventually, this machine will build a burger from scratch, but right now the task is simply to make sure it can properly assemble all the components. The cooking surface, meat grinder, and mechanism for forming the patties have not yet been installed.
Fresh-Sliced Tomato
Fresh-Sliced Tomato
"Cutting tomatoes is a b-tch," Vardakostas explained to us when we asked him to choose hardest part of designing a machine that can assemble a hamburger. Here we see cylinders containing the basic hamburger fixings. The tubes containing pickles and tomatoes have been outfitted with hydraulic blades so they can be sliced just before going onto the burger.
Please Add Heat
Please Add Heat
This conveyor belt will eventually be the location for the burger cooking surface. However, building code in their current lab dictates that the gentlemen at Momentum Machines can't use open flame, so they're using pre-cooked patties for the time being.
A Finished Burger
A Finished Burger
An example of a burger assembled by the machine. They say they've hit 95% accuracy for a properly put-together finished product. Soon it will be time to move on to constructing burgers cooked by the machine, rather than using the pre-cooked patty seen here.
Not Finished Yet
Not Finished Yet
As this mess of wires makes clear, the contraption isn't quite ready to meet the public yet.
Burger Engineers
Burger Engineers
The Momentum Machines team. From left to right: Jack McDonald, Alex Vardakostas, Steven Frehn, and Ari Atkins.