Finally, the ultimate kitchen gadget you never knew you wanted is here – but it will cost you about the same as the average UK house.
For those stumped as to what to buy the super-rich person in their lives this Christmas, how about a fully robotic kitchen that promises to whip up a choice of up to 5,000 recipes at the press of a button?
A London-based robotics company on Sunday unveiled the world’s first robot kitchen, which it promises “cooks from scratch and even cleans up afterwards without complaint”.
The Moley Kitchen robot, brainchild of Russian mathematician and computer scientist Mark Oleynik, promises to make restaurant standard meals without its owner having to lift a finger or order a takeaway.
It’s not cheap though: the robot costs a minimum of £248,000, roughly the same as the average UK house. Oleynik acknowledged the high cost, but claims there had been 1,205 “qualified sales enquiries” from people interested in buying one. He said the price was equivalent to a supercar or small yacht. The company hopes to introduce lower-priced models in the future.
“What you are looking at here is the world’s first consumer robotic kitchen,” Oleynik said as he launched the robot kitchen at the Gulf information technology exhibition in Dubai. “Like all breakthrough technologies – cars, televisions and computers – it will appeal to enthusiasts, professionals and early adopters, and is priced accordingly.
“We anticipate that our pricing will be reduced significantly over time with production volume, efficiencies and economies of scale.”
The robot has been developed with the assistance of Tim Anderson, a culinary innovator and winner of the 2011 series of BBC MasterChef. Anderson’s cooking techniques were captured in 3D and “translated into elegant digital movement using bespoke algorithms”.
Anderson and fellow chefs Nicole Pisani and Andrew Clarke have created 30 dishes to showcase the system’s capabilities at launch, with new recipes added every month. The company said that ultimately customers will be able to select from a digital menu of more than 5,000 choices, as well as having the option to record their own favourite dishes.
The technology features two robotic arms with fully articulated “hands”, developed in collaboration with world-leading German robotic company Schunk. Said to reliably reproduce the movements of human hands, they allow the robot to retrieve ingredients from the smart fridge, adjust hob temperature, use the sink to fill pans and pour, mix and plate up just as a human cook would.
And if you’re worried about how much mess a mechanical cook can possibly make – don’t. “The robot even cleans up after itself – without complaint,” Oleynik said.