If you’re anything like me and struggle with beans on toast, or even if you can’t be bothered rustling up a proper meal after a long day at the office, then this robot is for you!
The team at London-based Moley Robotics have managed to create a robotic kitchen assistant that is capable of cooking you a gourmet standard meal on demand!
The concept robot has been demonstrated at this year’s Hannover Messe, a huge trade fair dedicated to industrial technology and is held every year in Germany.
The robotic chef consists of two robotic arms that have almost human-level dexterity. The arms which are mounted on top of a cooking area complete with standard kitchen equipment such as a hob, oven and a sink.
At the Hannover Messe, the concept robot was able to rustle up Crab Bisque which is a difficult dish to make, even for humans.
Now when I first learned about this, I thought there must be some AI involved in order to achieve this level of flair and dexterity, but what this machine does is record the actions of a human being whilst they cook and then it replays those actions, mimicking every move.
The prototype was actually trained by Chef Tim Anderson (UK Masterchef Winner) and his movements were captured in a motion-capture studio whilst he spent time creating some original dishes.
The key innovation is actually in the robot’s hands which are produced by another company called the Shadow Robot company, which counts NASA amongst its many clients.
The hands are incredibly complex and currently have 20 motors, 24 joints and 129 sensors. They also have numerous actuated degrees of freedom, tactile sensors and sophisticated control systems which allow the robot to reproduce any recipe exactly how the chef intended to cook it.
Chef Tim Anderson told the BBC:
“You tell it to do something – whether it’s a bit of prep or completing a whole dish from start to finish – and it will do it. And it will do it the same every single time.”
According to the Moley website, the company intends to launch a consumer version of the robotic kitchen in 2018 which will feature integrated kitchen items such as an oven, hob and a touchscreen unit.
The robot can be controlled using either the touchscreen or from a smartphone app and recipes from around the world can be uploaded to an iTunes-style library.
In the future, Moley wants to provide users with the ability to teach it to create their own dishes and integrate a refrigerator and a dishwasher so you don’t even have to wash up afterwards, perfect!
According to the BBC, the company are planning on pricing the unit at the £10,000 mark, which is a bit expensive, but I’m sure the price will reduce if the robot becomes mass market.
With all the talk recently about machines and AI taking our jobs, this one is potentially providing jobs – for chefs in particular as the chefs and their recipes are needed in order to train the robot.
I think it could become incredibly useful in restaurants, not to replace chefs, but to literally give them an extra pair of hands.
I can also see other applications for this type of robot outside the kitchen for example in care homes for the elderly or to perform routine surgery once trained by surgeons.
What do you guys think? Would you buy one? I certainly wouldn’t mind a gourmet meal cooking for me every night!
Don’t forget to check out the video below to see this incredible robot in action!