Meet one of the world’s most advanced domestic robots ever: The Moley kitchen. The project – six years in the making with a team 100-strong – combines a robotic chef equipped with two fully articulated robotic hands and arms and a luxury kitchen, stocked with some of the latest in smart tech and professional-grade appliances.
It was only at the Consumer Electronics Show 2021 that Moley Robotics, a British technology company, revealed that the Moley Kitchen was now commercially available. The company’s been working on perfecting its flagship robotic kitchen ever since its inception in 2015 with a team of 100, including engineers, luxury interior designers and a trio of chefs.
They’re not just part of the team for recipe development – the Moley Kitchen’s raison d’etre isn’t so much prepping human food with robot-like precision as it is preparing it, well, like a human. That’s exactly why they come equipped with a pair of precision engineered hands (developed in collaboration with German robotic company Schunk) that grants the robot kitchen the ability to get stuff from your fridge, adjust the temperature of the hob and use a spatula.
The robot mimics uploaded 3D imaging of a regular chef cooking, including chef and winner of BBC Masterchef 2011 Tim Anderson. Along with chef-in-arms Nicole Pasani and Andrew Clarke, they’ve come up with over 5,000 recipes that come with your Moley Kitchen – though you’re able to add your favourite recipes as well.
Sensors and optical cameras help your robot chef map ingredients, as well as bespoke Italian-designed stainless-steel cookware and utensils (that, by the way, work just as well in human hands as they do in robots). The cameras are sensitive enough to spot dropped food and clean up the station before and after cooking, while an integrated ultraviolet lamp cleans up the rest.
Speaking of, the kitchen half of the Moley Kitchen is no less noteworthy. Its Internet of Things-enabled, which basically means that your fridge will flag ingredients that are running low, or are about to expire. The actual finishing of the kitchen can be tailored to your exact preferences – there’s a wide range of premium marble, onyx and Corian worktops as well as kitchen cabinets to choose from.
It isn’t exactly the first company to have come up with an automated kitchen robot – Samsung’s Bot Chef comes to mind – they’re the only ones who have had their plans come to commercial fruition. They’re also one of the few to commit to robotic chefs writ large. Think Rosie from The Jetsons, rather than automated omelette flippers or tempura makers.
All said though, the Moley Kitchen hasn’t yet reached the ability to prep a meal from start to finish. It still needs help, for example, with the slicing and dicing of ingredients. Further practical applications in the future include use in commercial kitchen environments – especially when you’re looking to create a human-free kitchen, particularly relevant post-Covid-19.
The robot takeover isn’t happening as quickly as predicted – for one, the Moley’s Kitchen’s three-axis rail system means that your new overlord is confined to only one room in your house. It’ll still be a couple of years yet before the nascent robotic industry really gets a foothold – and by then, it might be too late.
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