My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US$15,000 Moley Robotics Cooking Robot seeking Taste for Human Food in 2017

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

US$15,000 Moley Robotics Cooking Robot seeking Taste for Human Food in 2017

“Cooking with love is down to the effort that goes into it. If somebody makes you a lasagne then you know they love you because a lasagne is a lot of work! The robot could make food that would taste just like how a human would make it -- but it can never really capture that sentiment”

Britain's 2011 Master Chef winner Tim Anderson commenting on the development of Moley Robotics US$15,000 cooking robot

Robots can potentially replace Fast Food Chef….as soon as someone invents a Taste Bud Sensor! But what if those Robots had no taste buds. Can they still cook for humans?

They might not have to if  British company Moley Robotics US$15,000 Cooking Robot goes on sale in 2017 as reported in the article “Robo chef: Would you trust a cook with no taste buds?”, published April 23 2015 By Sheena McKenzie, CNN Money

Their robotic pair of arms has been programmed with the help of Britain’s 2011 Master Chef winner Tim Anderson to cook exactly as he does. Problem is, if anything is out of place, it can't cook, as Tim Anderson points out: “The current model is purely based on rote movements, so if anything is out of place it won't work”.

Robots are slated to take over from humans in the Fast Food industry by 2017, albeit it'll be drones that'll probably go autonomous first after all as I'd predicted in my blog article entitled “Fast Food Robot taking over by 2017 - How Drones like Amazon and PrimeAir and not Humanoid Robots will be the first Robots by 2015” .

Already, in Singapore, Restaurant Group Timbre, due to a shortage of waiters in the Quick Service Industry, has been forced to resort to using Drones from Infinium Robotics since February 2015 to stand in as waiters as reported in my blog article entitled “Singaporean Timbre Group uses @InfiniumRobotic Drones as Waiters – Why Labour Shortage in Singapore means Robot Waiters are coming”.

As expected, any task that’s simple, repetitive, hazardous, tracking massive databases or mass transportation is definitely up for Robotic Automation. But can a robot cook or know if food taste good, especially as no sensors exist for machines to determine taste?

Truth be told, the simple answer to this deep philosophical question is quite simple; they might not have to as nutrition, not taste is key. But is it!?

US$15,000 Moley Robotics Cooking Robot – Cooking Robot seeking Taste for Human Food to take over in 2017

Currently the Moley Robotics Cooking Robot requires the proper placement of items to begin cooking. Nothing can be out of place otherwise it'll get lost, as it has no additional sensors to sense its environment and it’s not AI (Artificial Intelligent); it's merely following a preprogrammed recipe routine.

This US$15,000 Cooking Robot is no different from an industrialized plant Production line with mixers, conveyor belts, extruders, cutters, ovens and bagging machines that mass produce bread or biscuits for human consumption. Those industrial robots can’t taste either, but the machine has been given instructions on how to mix, cook and bake food so that it tastes just right.

To quote Chef Tim Anderson, it's just going through the motions, quote: “It's so consistent, it always makes the exact same bowl of food. And that's the mark of a really great chef. You know it won't try and improvise or use an intuition -- because it has none”.

Planned improvements most likely will entail including some sensors for it to sense its environment and allow it to do more complex tasks. In the future, some clever PhD or Doctoral Student or an Engineer might invent an artificial Taste Bud and Nose and an AI program to allow the robot to judge if their food taste good or if it needs more pepper.

For now, at US$15,000, this is not cheaper than a regular underpaid chef in a 7/11.

But the disabled and the lonely Silicon Valley bachelor might like to have the improved model, especially as the robot would make a great conversation piece, to quote Chef Tim Anderson: “It could also be an advantage for disabled people who want freshly cooked food but don't have a career. And then there are the people who might just want to show off their futuristic new kitchen appliance. The early adopters are going to be people saying 'hey, come to my house, I've got this amazing robot chef, you should see what it does, you should taste the bisque. Everyone loves a bit of theater with their food”.

So Robots can cook and they don't need taste buds, though that might be developed long before  2017, as anything is possible. Hence, not only am I on the lookout for the developement of a Taste Bud Sensor, but if the improved version of Moley Robotics US$15,000 Cooking Robot falls below US$5000, Fast Food Workers might have to start looking for work elsewhere.

Signpost of a future to come in 2017……

No comments: