Skip to Content

Snackbot

Welsh researchers are making robots that they hope will thrive in the refrigerated environments of the British snack food industry. The vision-endowed machine devised by Jem Rowland and Mark Lee of the University of Wales in Aberstwyth first examines a finished food product. The robot then makes a replica, using image processing to figure out which ingredients to fetch in sequence. Beyond building a better burrito, Rowland and Lee see their work as a step toward mass customization. Their robot would spare programmers from having to write code specifying that two slices of tomato and a pickle belong on every robo-sandwich. The Wales team is working in collaboration with three U.K. food companies-Solway Foods, Rutland Handling and R.F. Brooks-and has demonstrated the robot with simulated food. Rowland and Lee have expressed no plans to develop a home version that auto-assembles sandwiches in the kitchen fridge.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

AV2.0 autonomous vehicles adapt to unknown road conditions concept
AV2.0 autonomous vehicles adapt to unknown road conditions concept

The big new idea for making self-driving cars that can go anywhere

The mainstream approach to driverless cars is slow and difficult. These startups think going all-in on AI will get there faster.

biomass with Charm mobile unit in background
biomass with Charm mobile unit in background

Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal

The startup used plant matter and bio-oil to sequester thousands of tons of carbon. The question now is how reliable, scalable, and economical this approach will prove.

images created by Google Imagen
images created by Google Imagen

The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images

Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.

AGI is just chatter for now concept
AGI is just chatter for now concept

The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.