The UK company Moley Robotics has presented the first robotic chef at the industrial robotics show Hanover Messe in London.
The first automated kitchen in the world can cook only crab bisque for the moment and all the tools and ingredients needed for the preparation have to be perfectly pre-positioned. If anything is misplaced the robot could pick up crab instead of cream or if a tool is placed a bit too far it will just grab air. It takes half an hour for the robot to cook the crab bisque dish.
The consumer-ready version of the robot is expected to be available in two years and its cost will be around $14,600 (£10,000). The company will also provide a downloadable recipe book.
The robotic cook consists of two arms with humanoid hands. The ingredients for the food are placed on the worktop. Afterwards, using the personal computer which operates the robot, the owner must press the start button. When the robot starts cooking it mimics the movements of Tim Anderson, MasterChef winner of 2011. The most important question is how the food tastes. There should be no worries about this; the dish is just as delicious as the one cooked by Anderson.
According to Moley Robotics Tim Anderson was recorded while cooking crab bisque in a special studio. The aim was to develop a dish in order to test the capabilities of the system. Every movement and nuance was recorded and translated into digital motions. This was possible using algorithms developed by Moley Robotics in collaboration with Shadow, the Universities of Stamford (USA) and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa).
Anderson said that he did not expect things to work that well. Crab bisque is a challenge for humans; it was a surprise to see that a machine was able to cook so well. Anderson confessed that he was amazed at how tasty the dish was. According to him this robotic chef is the beginning of something very important. It is a new way for producing great food and for people to explore cuisines all around the world.
The company is at present working at making the technology available for mass production and adjusting it to fit in regular sized kitchens. Future replicas will most likely be more compact, with small control arms. However it will also be provided with added functionality such as a dishwasher and a built-in refrigerator.
Image Source: Daily Mail