It may not be long before your meal, or at least part of it, is prepared by a pair of robot hands. Moley Robotics and Shadow Robot are collaborating on a robo-chef that learns the actions taken by an actual chef and performs them with high-precision mechanical hands. The logic is that if the robotic arms are to work in a regular kitchen, using ordinary pots, stoves and spatulas, they need to be as similar to our own appendages as possible. They also need to do the same tasks we do: stirring scrambled eggs, adding oil to a sauce, chopping onions. To make sure the robo-chef does these things properly, Moley put 2011 Master Chef winner Tim Anderson in a motion-capture studio. His movements will provide a template for the robot to follow, though sensors will help determine when, for example, a pan needs to be moved or an ingredient added.
The plan is to put out a consumer version of the robo-chef in 2017, suitable for use by restaurants and with a built-in refrigerator and dishwasher. Between this, robotic vacuums, face-recognizing TVs and proximity-sensing locks, the "smart home" is looking very futuristic indeed.
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