Dinner That's Easier Than Take-Out? A New Robot Is Making It Possible

You'll never view dinner the same way again thanks to robot technology.

Cooking can be relaxing… sometimes. But some nights—especially after a long day at work—wouldn’t it be nice to have a healthy dinner at home, without all the preparation and clean-up effort?

Enter Moley Robotics’ “kitchen,” comprised of a set of robotic arms, oven, storage shelf, fridge, sink and built-in dishwasher. The kitchen can be operated through an app or the included touchscreen, and reports say that dinner prep will be as easy as supplying ingredients and selecting a recipe from the robot’s library.

Though it may seem like an unnecessary convenience item at first glance, creator Mark Oleynik, a computer scientist who had worked in public health, has some seriously noble goals behind the robotic kitchen: addressing obesity and health issues, as well as reducing food waste.

The technology in the robot’s arms is many years in the making, used by NASA in other applications. In this instance, Moley teamed up with Shadow Robotics (UK), Universities of Stanford (USA) and The Sant-Anna School of Advanced Studies Pisa to develop the algorithms that control its movements. This is not your average animatronic mouse at Chuck E Cheese: Former Masterchef Tim Anderson was filmed using motion capture technology to “teach” the robot, so it prepares food with the hand motions of a celebrity chef.

Of course, robotic arms holding knives in your home could be a little unnerving if you have kids, furniture or arteries you’re really attached to, so the robotic kitchen uses a food processor and is encased in a protective screen.

The planned release date is in 2017, at which time it’s projected to cost $75,000. This makes it a little outside the realm of “reasonable holiday request” but it will likely come down to just under half the launch price within a few years.

 

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