Gone are the days when microwave meals count as a proper dinner after a long day at the office – robotic kitchens are in the making. Dreamed up by the masterminds at Moley Robotics, these robotic cooking arms will perfect just about any dish at the drop of a hat.
Every little movement, from a pinch of salt to a quick sauté, will be elegant and graceful. Thanks to the beauty of 3D recording, this kitchen robot’s actions are memorised from that of a trained professional. The plan is to have chefs from all over the world create their signature dishes and upload their movements to an iTunes-style database, and then that recipe will now be available to any robot kitchen. Tim Anderson, the 2011 titleholder of BBC’s Masterchef, “taught” the robot to create crab bisque – a challenging dish for a human chef to create, as he told Time Magazine Although crab bisque is the only dish this smart kitchen can create at this time, Moley plans on programming a 2,000-recipe library before it is launched to the public.
Moley’s robotic kitchen is anticipated to become publically available in late 2017, at the cost of around 50,000 pounds to start. This project has already sparked interest not only for the general consumer, but also in a multitude of restaurant and airline owners. Although some people may not be fully ready for a high-functioning robot in the kitchen, extra precautions have been made to ensure safety of both consumer and robot. While cooking, a glass door will deploy to keep children and pets from disrupting the robot’s movements, and currently the robot will use a food processor in lieu of a knife for chopping (the public is not quite ready for a knife-wielding robot in their homes!) The high-tech hands, designed by the Shadow Robot Company, will also be removable and dishwasher safe to ensure food preparation cleanliness.
There are several other cooking robots available on the market to date: Onecook is a large bin-type robot that requires you to place ingredients inside, create your meal through an app, and will prepare it for you. The Sereneti Cooki is a similar prototype that requires the ingredients to be placed in trays, but also comes with a robotic arm to stir and mix. With so many kitchen robots to be hitting the public within the next year or so, we look forward to the flavours of the world becoming available in our homes.
The advances in this technology will revolutionise cooking in the future, in a similar way to the way Hungry House and Tesla have done so in their industries. Ordering takeaway food from once source to access many eateries and the ability to drive a zero emission vehicle at 150mph shows how technology has already advanced in these areas and the way in which unimaginable concepts can and do come true.