You’ve probably been in your kitchen, once again forced to slave over a hot stove, and asked yourself why robot chefs have not yet been invented. The good news is that they have been created, and are already in use in a restaurant in Boston. The bad news is that they are not yet available for private use, although that is likely only a matter of time. So, don’t put down the frying pan and start relaxing just yet!
Also, if you were imagining a quirky, humanoid robot along the lines of C3PO chopping carrots, flipping pancakes and cracking jokes, you’ll be very disappointed. The so-called robot chefs in Boston aren’t very visually impressive at all, and bear about as much resemblance to C3PO as a cement mixer. In fact, the robot chefs look rather a great deal like cement mixers, which really does kill much of the excitement. The robotic systems are however a great deal more functional than impressive to look at, which is often the case when it comes to real world robotics.
On the other hand, such robotic systems in the kitchen are likely to still advance considerably, which gives hope that a C3PO style robot may yet be making an appearance in your home.
Kitchens Of The Future
But before you anticipate a C3PO kitchen robot, divert your attention instead to a pair of alarmingly human-like robot arms created by Moley Robotics. The arms are designed to be installed in a kitchen, along with the enormous bulk of complicated machinery that goes along with them. When powered up, the arms can apparently create over 2,000 meals, which is a great deal more than your average Joe equipped with a whisk and a cookbook.
The robotic cooking arms were revealed at the Hannover Messe Technology Fair, and a rather impressive demonstration showed them cooking crab bisque. According to the creators, chef Tim Anderson helped train the arms, working in a motion capture studio. After observing Anderson, the arms can then apparently recreate the movements, and imitate a five star chef as if it was no more than a stroll in the park. It all sounds very impressive, and reason for the lazy among us everywhere to anticipate all the fun things we can do, like playing blackjack online or watching TV, while a robot does the cooking.
Still Some Time To Wait
It almost sounds too good to be true, and a sceptic may start asking questions, like does the kitchen have to be laid out in a very specific way in order for the arms to operate, and do the arms know if they’ve made a mistake, and dropped a pan of hot oil on the dog? Either way, Moley Robotics said that they aim to offer the kitchen upgrade to the public in 2017, at a price of about $15,000.
Both aspects of this statement are reason for concern. The first being that it is 2018, and no kitchens yet are automated. The second being that the price is more than a little steep, and probably beyond the reach of the average middle income household. Still, there is certainly reason to believe that we may just have robotic chefs in our lifetime, even if they look more like cement mixers than a Star Wars character. The cement mixer robots in the Boston restaurant work flawlessly, even if they lack the personality that we all hope for in our robots.
So, anticipate robots in your kitchen at some point in the future, but don’t be too let down if they simply fall short of offering a true science fiction experience. At least they’ll chop carrots perfectly and whip up cordon bleu meals efficiently, and that’s more than can be said for me!