Robotic chef hands unveiled which learn and mimic human actions

An autonomous cooking machine that uses two robot arms and hands to reproduce the movements of a human in action from a 3D recording has been unveiled at a robotics fair.

London-based company Moley Robotics launched a prototype that it claimed is the world’s first robot chef at the Hanover Messe technology fair in Germany.

The kitchen machine relies on capturing the movements of a human chef with a 3D recording of a cooking process that maps every individual motion, which are then turned into commands that control a sophisticated pair of hands.

During a 25-minute demonstration, the machine made a crab bisque from a recipe developed by Tim Anderson, a previous winner of BBC’s Masterchef competition. The robotic arms hovered above a kitchen surface including a hob and a sink, quickly melting the butter, adding shallots and seasoning.

The robo-chef can do everything from assembling and chopping the ingredients, doing the cooking and even cleaning the dirty pans, although it is still two years away from coming to market, according to a Moley spokesman.

It wants to make the kitchen unit more compact and equip it with a built-in refrigerator and dishwasher and estimates it will cost around £10,000 for consumers before it takes over the kitchen.

The robot currently has just the one recipe in its repertoire, although Moley hopes to build up a digital library of 2,000 recipes, eventually allowing chefs and seasoned consumers to add their own.

The next generation of household robots that can vacuum our floors, wash our windows and mow our lawns is a growing market and part of what the UK coalition government identified as one of the “eight great technologies”.

Robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) could contribute substantially to the economy, according to a recent report by the McKinsey consultancy, with an economic impact of £1.3tn to £4.4tn per year.

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