Robots might not be very good at dinner conversation, but more and more people seem to think they'd make good chefs.
We've seen a pancake-flipping robot in Tokyo; some ramen chef bots in Nagoya, Japan; and a wonky iron chef in Beijing, China. Now, two Chinese universities are getting in on the action with an automatic chef that cooks hundreds of Huaiyang cuisine dishes.
Shanghai Jiaotong University, Yangzhou University, and a Shenzhen firm recently produced the third generation of their chef robot, which looks like a giant vending machine housing a gas stove, automatic stir-fry unit, and containers for ingredients.
According to this CCTV video, the robot can currently make about 300 dishes such as Gao Bao chicken, but there are plans to increase its repertoire to 600 menu choices.
After the ingredients are put into the containers and a menu item is selected from the touch-screen panel, the machine will stir-fry, steam, braise, or use other cooking methods to prepare the food. The finished product comes out of a slot on a tray.
The robot's offerings are based on the offerings of four top chefs in Jiangsu Province, home to Yangzhou University near Shanghai. The developers want to keep improving the machine, and there's no word on commercialization yet.
If this thing ever gets imported to the U.S., it would need to make fortune cookies too. But what would a robot fortune say?