Ladies and gentlemen, the future has arrived. Within two years, airlines will have the capability to add robot chefs onto their flights and that means you could be eating robot food that was cooked fresh for you instead of the warmed-up cardboard rectangles that haunt your economy class dreams. Click the play button to get in the mood for our robot chef future and continue reading below…
So. Robot chefs, huh? That’s what Moley Robotics is proposing. They’ve constructed their robot chef with 129 sensors, 24 joints, and 20 motors to stir, pour, change the temperature on a stove, and perform every other task a real chef can do.
Moley currently has a working prototype of their Robotic Kitchen at the Hannover Messe trade fair for industrial technology and the plan is for it to be available to consumers by 2017. The Robotic Kitchen is a pair of robotic hands programmed to perfectly mimic the movements of real chefs to create 2,000 different dishes. From the website:
Moley has created the world’s first robotic kitchen. Featuring a dexterous robot integrated into a beautifully designed, professional-grade kitchen, it cooks with the skill and flair of a master chef.
Sophisticated yet compact, it will feature a built-in refrigerator and dishwasher to complement a professional-grade hob and oven. It can be controlled using a built-in touch screen or remotely via a smart phone app.
When not in use, the robotic arms retract from view, presenting a beautifully designed kitchen for home cooks to enjoy. When running in automated mode, built-in glass screens glide across the working area, making the kitchen 100% safe to operate around children, pets or with even with no one at home.
Later editions will also feature built-in motion capture cameras so home cooks can 3D record themselves preparing their favourite dishes and upload them to the digital recipe library.
Once it’s available to consumers, it’s fair to speculate that airlines could easily install one on flights to prepare on-demand meals for hungry passengers. It would be similar to the on-board chefs that airlines like Etihad and Austrian Airlines provide to premium cabin flyers, but without the extra manpower needed. Instead of being locked into a set menu, passengers could use the Robotic Kitchen to create dishes of their choosing at whichever time they like. Here’s a video of the robot chef in action:
This all depends, of course, on the machine actually working beyond just making bisque. Right now, it seems too good to be true to me. The website seems a little outdated and the promises are a little too big for me to believe in. If it happens, I’ll be anxious to see just how successful this robot chef will be. If it doesn’t happen, it’s just another tech promise made and not delivered — like 98% of what seems to come out of Silicon Valley minds every day.
main photo via Moley Robotics