Robot Chef Makes Octopus Balls
A robot chef was cooking octopus balls autonomously at the Osaka Museum of creative industries last month. The device was created by Toyo Riki of Japan.
(Robot chef makes octopus balls)
The food-savvy automaton wears a towel twisted rakishly over its upper module. The octopus balls are made individually, each one carefully made from scratch. The octopus balls are made in thirds; the cooking delicacy must be hand-turned after each portion cooks to add the next bit of dough, creating a perfect octopus ball.
The final steps include putting the octopus balls on a plate, basting each one with sauce, and shaking on some spices.
(Robot chef puts final touches on octopus balls)
The purpose of the demonstration is not to create a finished robot chef product, but to demonstrate robotic capabilities. As far as I'm concerned, though, these treats look ready to eat. Bring on the robot chefs!
Science fiction fans have been waiting almost a century for tasty treats prepared by tireless automatons; consider Edgar Rice Burroughs who, in his 1912 story A Princess of Mars, wrote about them:
Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus. No hand touched the food from the time it entered the building in its raw state until it emerged hot and delicious upon the tables before the guests, in response to the touching of tiny buttons to indicate their desires.
(Read more about automated restaurants)
Update 12-Jul-2008: Anthony Boucher contributed to the idea of a robot chef in his 1943 story Robinc:
"Half your time in cooking is wasted raching around for what you need next. We can build in a lot of that stuff. For instance, one tentacle can be a registering thermometer. tapering to a find point - stick it in a roast and - One can end in a broad spoon for stirring - heat resistant, of course. One might terminate in a sort of hand, of which each of the digits was a different-sized measuring spoon..
(Read more about Boucher's robot chef)
Cooking robots (or automated cooks) are under serious development; read about the AIC-CI Cookingrobot Chinese Robotic Chef. And while you're at it, you might want to line up some robot waiters.
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