Car-building robot can also bake cookies

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

industrial robot
The KUKA usually builds cars, but students from Poland reprogrammed the machine to be a chef!

Judging from the competitive cooking shows I’ve seen, baking is definitely not easy. The chefs are juggling flour, chocolate chips, and tasty fruit filling with one hand, while cracking eggs and beating batter with the other! Needless to say, it can get very crazy in the kitchen. Well, maybe the robot from Poland’s School of Form can offer a helping hand.

Some design students reprogrammed a car-building robot called the KUKA and transformed him into quite the little chef! Barbara Dzaman, one of the students, said, “Our project is called ‘Let’s cook the future’ and we try to cook with robots – we had a robot that initially was made just to be in factories and make cars and we tried to treat it as a human and put it in the kitchen.”

Even though KUKA is a big, bulky chunk of metal, he can perform some pretty graceful tasks! For one, it whips batter to perfection at blazing fast speeds without making a huge mess. Whenever I’m mixing pancake batter, I always manage to splash some on the counters and stove! KUKA can gently open and close oven doors, fill up bottles, precisely pour liquids from containers, and pick up pots by specialized handles. Oh yeah, it bakes cookies too and doesn’t even use regular cookie-cutters to give the treats a cute shape. Instead, the robot wields a 3D printer to bring sugary goodness to life!

Thomas Johansson is the design director at Electrolux, a company that makes kitchen appliances. He says the kitchen is the perfect place for robots! “I think kitchen robots could potentially take over some of the common jobs that are repetitive or difficult to do… I think you could take away some of the boring chores and spend your time doing something more interesting.”

Can you imagine robots taking over all the common, repetitive jobs in kitchens across the nation, including McDonalds? I’ll tell you one thing, the fast-food employees on strike would definitely have a newfound appreciation for their paychecks!

Images courtesy of School of Form.