Man, did the 1960s cartoon family the Jetsons ever have it made. Moving sidewalks everywhere, programmable dreams, flying cars, robotic butlers and chefs – they were living the life. It looks like real world is slowly moving that way – though moving sidewalks have yet to make the leap from airport to city street – with robotic chefs moving into kitchens.
Mark Oleynik, a Russian-born scientist and engineer now based in London has developed a robo chef that he claims can whip up a meal just as good as anything made by a student of the International Culinary Center. Oleynik unveiled the prototype of his mechanical chef at a fair in Germany recently and it garnered quite the response.
“It’s very, very impressive,” said sushi chef Wojciech Psykala. It definitely can handle all of the cooking I’ve seen, but with sushi, I’m not sure about it’s dexterity.”
What separates Oleynik’s robotic chef from others on the market is that the machine is more of a mini kitchen complete with conventional appliances and utensils that it uses to cook with its two robotic arms.
Those robotic hands are similar to ones supplied to NASA and are made by Shadow Robot, a British firm that teamed up with Dr. Oleynik’s company, Moley Robotics. To give his robotic chef the best possible cooking skills, Oleynik had several chefs come in and where special sensor fitted gloves to prepare meals so that his robot might better form an algorithm that can be used to perfectly mimic a recipe for chicken cacciatore.
While the prototype robot can only work with already prepared ingredients – they don’t yet trust it with knives — Moley Robotics is hopeful that it will eventually be able to perfectly prepare over 2,000 preprogrammed recipes. The company is shooting for a 2017 commercial release and expects it to retail for around $15,000.
Good news if you like to eat home cooked meals, but don’t want to actually prepare them for yourself. Oh, it’s important to mention though that the robotic chef DOESN’T do dishes, you’ll still have to do those yourself.