Researchers growing totally autonomous robotic chef

Researchers growing totally autonomous robotic chef

Idea rendering of a digital cooking equipment that boasts dozens of components and a exact cooking laser to assemble and prepare dinner meals utilizing digital recipes. Credit score: Columbia College

Think about having your personal digital private chef; able to prepare dinner up no matter you need; capable of tailor the form, texture, and taste only for you; and it is all on the push of a button. Columbia engineers have been engaged on doing simply that, utilizing lasers for cooking and 3D printing expertise for assembling meals.

Beneath the steering of Mechanical Engineering Professor Hod Lipson, the “Digital Meals” crew of his Artistic Machines Lab has been constructing a totally autonomous digital private chef. Lipson’s group has been growing 3D-printed meals since 2007. Since then, meals printing has progressed to multi-ingredient prints and has been explored by researchers and some industrial firms.

“We famous that, whereas printers can produce components to a millimeter-precision, there isn’t a heating methodology with this identical diploma of decision,” mentioned Jonathan Blutinger, a Ph.D. in Lipson’s lab who led the undertaking. “Cooking is important for vitamin, taste, and texture growth in lots of meals, and we puzzled if we may develop a way with lasers to exactly management these attributes.”






Robots that Cook dinner: precision cooking with multiwavelength lasers. Credit score: Columbia College

In a brand new examine revealed Sept. 1, 2021, by npj Science of Meals, the crew explored numerous modalities of cooking by exposing blue gentle (445 nm) and infrared gentle (980 nm and 10.6 μm) to rooster, which they used as a mannequin meals system. They printed rooster samples (3 mm thick by ~1in2 space) as a check mattress and assessed a spread of parameters together with cooking depth, shade growth, moisture retention, and taste variations between laser-cooked and stove-cooked meat. They found that laser-cooked meat shrinks 50% much less, retains double the moisture content material, and exhibits comparable taste growth to conventionally cooked meat.






Precision Cooking with Multiavelength Lasers: temperature information. Credit score: Columbia College

“In truth, our two blind taste-testers most well-liked laser-cooked meat to the conventionally cooked samples, which exhibits promise for this burgeoning expertise,” Blutinger mentioned.

Whereas Lipson and Blutinger are excited in regards to the potentialities of this new expertise, whose {hardware} and software program parts are pretty low-tech, they observe that there’s not but a sustainable ecosystem to assist it. Lipson states that “what we nonetheless do not have is what we name “Meals CAD,” kind of the Photoshop of meals. We want a excessive degree software program that allows people who find themselves not programmers or software program builders to design the meals they need. After which we’d like a spot the place folks can share digital recipes, like we share music.”

Researchers developing fully autonomous robot chef
Rooster being cooked by a blue laser. Mild is being directed by two software-controlled mirror galvanometers. Credit score: Columbia College

Nonetheless, says Blutinger, “Meals is one thing that all of us work together with and personalize every day—it appears solely pure to infuse software program into our cooking to make meal creation extra customizable.”


Put security first when planning to pack food-to-go


Extra data:
Jonathan David Blutinger et al, Precision cooking for printed meals through multiwavelength lasers, npj Science of Meals (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41538-021-00107-1

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Columbia College


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