Japan unveils world’s first cooking robot | Inquirer Technology

Japan unveils world’s first cooking robot

08:00 AM January 12, 2024

Tokyo-based company TechMagic created the world’s first cooking robot and showcased it at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). In October 2023, they experimented with the machine last year, cutting the “labor cost ratio by nine points and improving the profit ratio by nine points.”

The company says it aims to resolve kitchen labor shortages, one of the best uses for robots. Soon, bots would take over more jobs that are too dull, dangerous, and dirty for people. As a result, a machine may prepare your meals for your next night out. That is why we must see how such a future may turn out.

This article will elaborate on the features of the I-Robo cooking robot. Then, I will show other robots and their applications, such as Archax and Valkyrie.

What are the cooking robot’s features?

You choose a meal from a touchscreen menu, and the robot cooks it for you. That is the simplest way to describe I-Robo’s features, proving this machine is user-friendly. 

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It connects to a cloud-based recipe library, letting you choose from professional chefs worldwide. “Its smart algorithms offer unique, customizable dishes, meeting the demands of contemporary culinary enthusiasts and enhancing dining experiences,” TechMagic says.

The machine can also understand and execute commands to season, stir, heat, and clean its cooking utensil. Moreover, it has an “automatic liquid seasoning supply function.”

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According to the menu, the cooking robot can adjust the heating temperature, heating time, rotation direction, and pan rotation speed. “All that the user needs to do is tap on the menu of their choice on the touch panel, and I-Robo will do the cooking process for you.” 

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“Our robots are engineered to handle various cooking tasks such as boiling, stir-frying, and frying,” TechMagic founder Yuji Shiraki said. “In Japan, they have already been operational and have successfully prepared over 100,000 meals in the last half year.”

“We plan to introduce the I-robo to the US market with the hopes of solving various issues surrounding the food industry globally,” he added. The TechMagic website says the cooking robot can cook 30 meals per hour.

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Other robotic innovations

Japan also shared a robot seemingly straight out of sci-fi films, the 15-foot tall robot Archax. It has a humanoid head, torso, and a pair of arms supported by four legs with wheels.

The video above shows a man entering the machine’s central compartment. It closes, and the operator switches between its “robot” and “vehicle” modes. The former contracts the legs closer to the body, allowing the machine to stand taller.

Archax is 14.8 feet or 4.5 ms tall in its robot mode, but it can only move at 1.2 mph or 1.9 kph. More importantly, it enables the pilot to control the arms and fingers.

The hands have articulated digits that let you manipulate objects of up to 33 lbs or 15 kg. On the other hand, the vehicle mode extends Archax legs and lowers its torso.

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The new configuration exchanges height for speed, boosting its top speed to 9.65 kph or 6 mph. Unfortunately, only the ultra-rich could afford this transforming robot worth $2.5 million!

Interesting Engineering reports Tsubame director Tatsuo Yoshida’s purpose for its flagship project. He admits Archax is “partly” for the extremely affluent, but he says it could inspire further robotics applications in numerous industries.

For example, the Japanese government could use it for disaster recovery and construction. Further research and development could expand its practical uses.

Conclusion

Japan wowed this year’s Consumer Electronics Show by unveiling its cooking robot. The I-robo has undergone testing in East Asian restaurants, including prominent Chinese restaurant groups.

They agree that it has achieved its goal of supporting the hospitality industry by reducing labor costs and shortages. Soon, it may become part of restaurants near you.

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Moreover, robots will protect national borders and help us explore further into the cosmos. Learn more about these robot applications and other digital trends at Inquirer Tech.

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