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Our kitchen is quite automated already, you don’t have to grind or worry about the rice anymore. But researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab are bent upon making our lives much more easier by working on an innovative concept of a “food factory” that could fast forward us to the next century!
Two PhD candidates working at the university – Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran have come up with the concept of having kitchen devices that can mix, measure, cut and even cook without any human intervention. The whole idea is based on a three piece design and the researchers have even have built a prototype.
The kitchen factory consists of a Digital Fabricator, a Chocolate Mixer, a Robotic Chef and a Virtuoso Mixer and each of these are designed to transform food with the push of a button.
The four devices work independently. For instance the Digital Fabricator lays down the ingredients in a three-dimensional serving and it functions similar to a printer where you spread/print the ink on the paper. The fabricator also aligns the ingredients in the serving. It has an array of food canisters store ingredients and also a touch-screen and web capability which allow it to cook to control the design of each meal. Just enter your favorite dish and on a push of a button the ingredients are piped into a mixer and an extruder head spreads out the meal which is then heated or cooled in the Fabricator’s chamber.
It doesn’t end there, the Chocolate Mixer will surely get special interest. The Chocolate mixer is programmed to release sauces, nuts and other varieties of sweets in any fashion as needed and can work in conjunction with the digital fabricator.
The Robotic chef actually looks to be quite a complex device. This chef is equipped with a variety of tools and drill bits and also comes with a low power laser! The robot is programmed to cut, cook and spice the food with precision, however we wonder how would a robot define “precision” since it cannot taste the spice!
The Virtuso Mixer is a super mixer with three rotating carousels which are stacked on top of the other. Its sole purpose is to efficiently mix multiple ingredients. The mixer has weight scales along with temperature and humidity sensors. The middle layer is equipped to crush the ingredients which are mixed and deposited at the lower layer.
The kitchen factory looks impressive but only one prototype was built yet while others are yet to be built and tried out.
Regardless I had a hard time trying to convince my girl friend that she would not be able to pre-order any of these and will still have to stick to making me a good ‘ol meal! 🙂