You may be able buy a robotic personal chef in a couple years
By: Lee Mathews
Centuries before you’ll ever struggle to achieve your dream of becoming a great chef, another robot will be whipping up culinary delights in one company’s vision of an ultra-modern kitchen. In 2017, Moley Robotics says they’ll be ready to sell the consumer version of their product. The robot itself isn’t something like Bender or the Jetson’s trusty housebot Rosie. It’s a pair of arms and two incredibly well-articulated hands that make the magic happen. London’s Shadow Robot Company developed the human-like hands, which has two dozen joints, and their motions are controlled by twenty motors and a whopping 129 sensors.
To train the robot to cook a dish, the company used 3D imaging to capture the movements of a human chef. In about an hour, the robot can whip up a nice crab bisque — pretty much the same amount of time it would take a human to prepare. Moley could give it a speed boost, but for now movements are kept slow and deliberate, which they say is to ensure it doesn’t alarm anyone who might be watching.
Right now, the bisque is the only dish it can cook, and it needs a little help doing it; ingredients were prepped and portioned out ahead of time. Down the road, however, it could be taught to do the prep work itself and Moley will have trained it to prepare thousands of recipes by the time it’s ready for sale.
How much will you need to save up by 2017 for the privilege of never having to cook again? About $15,000, but you’ll be getting more than a pair of disembodied robotic arms. Moley’s rig includes a dedicated fridge, sink, cooktop, and dishwasher so you won’t even have to scrub up after your new robot chef! In a related story, we’ve received word that PancakeBot feels threatened.