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Robotic Kitchen Assistants

Tired of cooking this Thanksgiving? These robots could help out.

If you spent Thanksgiving slaving over a hot stove, you might be glad to know that researchers are developing some robotic kitchen assistants that could someday do the hard work for you.

Here is a roundup of robots designed to help humans with food preparation. No turkey-prepping robots (yet), but these bots can prepare sushi, pancakes, even ramen noodles.

At this year’s FOOMA International Food Machinery and Technology Exhibition in Tokyo, a “sushi robot” showed off its food-handling skills, gently grasping raw fish without squishing it. The robot is essentially an industrial robotic arm with a silicone hand attached to the end.

At the same conference, a Japanese-pancake-flipping robot with voice-recognition was able to take orders and use its 15 joints brush oil, knead dough, add spices, flip the pancakes and serve them.

In a noodle restaurant in Japan, a robotic chef can prepare and serve 80 bowls of ramen noodles on a busy day.

This robotic system stacks 400 pancakes per minute.

And finally, for those who may have over-indulged this year, here’s an exercise robot from the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. It can help gluttons shed those extra calories by demonstrating exercises and encouraging you as you work out.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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