To paraphrase the T-shirt: This was supposed to be the future. Where is my robot chef for days when I'm too tired to cook?
Turns out, the future is just around the corner. Liu Changfa, a retired professor in Beijing, has grabbed headlines with the prototype of his "food robot." The 5-foot-tall iron chef comprises a base that houses a computer, a gut that contains an induction cooker and a pot, and a chest that frames a screen. The chef also has a robotic arm to help with stirring as well as a C-3PO-esque mien that's far friendlier than the other robot chef we've seen.
Hungry humans can program recipes into the food robot's computer, then kick back with a cocktail while the bot assembles the meal. More than 200 diners have enjoyed the machine's cuisine thus far, and reportedly taste testers have found the food to be on par with a traditional restaurant kitchen, flavor-wise. (No mention has been made of the robot's plating abilities.)