Sunday, 23 October 2011

Automated kitchen

I tend to keep half of a half-open eye on what's going on in the world of robotics, and despite some pretty amazing robots, it seems unlikely that I'm going to have, any time soon, an affordable kitchen robot that'll make me dinner.

Given that the kitchen robot is a way off, why hasn't more simply forms of kitchen automation taken off?

For example, consider an integrated freezer and microwave/oven. Pre-prepared meals in standardised containers are inserted by the users into slots in the freezer. Based on a timer or input via the internet (e.g. from a smartphone), the meal is removed from the freezer and into the oven.

This is fully do-able with existing technology. Is it commercially viable? Such a device would cost more than a separate microwave/oven and freezer, partly due to the need to connect to the internet (e.g. via wifi) and have a controller. However, it could be sold at a loss, as the set size of the containers would lock-in customers wishing to buy pre-prepared meals.

It should

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