How a Robot Could Take Over Your Kitchen Duties

It just won’t save you money

Key Takeaways

  • Moley’s kitchen is a new robotic kitchen for the home that costs more than $300,000. 
  • A professional chef demonstrated his cooking techniques to train the robot. 
  • White Castle is testing a robot cooking assistant at its hamburger restaurants.
Moley Robot Kitchen
Moley

If constant cooking during the pandemic is getting you down, a new robot kitchen might be just the thing to help. That is, if you’ve got more than $300,000 to spend. 

Moley’s kitchen is a frightening-looking contraption with two robotic arms featuring fully articulated "hands" that attempt to reproduce human hand movements. The manufacturer claims it can retrieve ingredients from the smart fridge, pour, mix, and serve food onto plates just as a human cook would. It even cleans up after itself.

"Dining out is a whole different story during COVID, and more than ever people are cooking at home," Julie Ryan Evans, the editor of SecurityNerd, said in an email interview.

"To have that cooking done for you right in your own kitchen with no cleanup is a pretty alluring idea, especially when so many of us aren’t able to go dine at our favorite restaurants. This kitchen is almost like bringing a restaurant to you, and even better than takeout, since you don’t have to worry about the food getting cold, soggy, etc., en route."

The Taste of Robot Cooking

Moley claims its kitchen doesn’t make food like a machine. Chef Tim Anderson, the winner of a BBC Master Chef competition, demonstrated his cooking techniques to train the robot. His movements were then translated into digital action.

Anderson and other chefs have created 30 dishes to showcase the systems' capabilities at launch, with new recipes added every month. Ultimately, Moley claims that users will be able to select from a digital menu with over 5,000 choices. You can also create your own dishes for the robot to prepare using Moley's software.

Full view of the Moley Robot Kitchen.
Moley

But is it worth the price? "It’s crazy cool, but crazy expensive," Evans said.

"The price tag is greater than that of many people’s entire homes, so we won’t see these kitchens popping up all over the place anytime soon. If and when they become more affordable, however, they have the potential to be extremely popular. From busy working parents to the elderly and beyond, they will appeal to many people."

Moley Robotics founder and CEO Mark Oleynik acknowledged in a news release that the robot kitchen’s price tag makes it out of reach for most. "It will appeal to enthusiasts, professionals, and early adopters, and is priced accordingly," he said. "We anticipate that our pricing will be reduced significantly over time with production volume, efficiencies, and economies of scale."

Other Robotic Kitchen Gadgets for Less

There are many less expensive automated kitchen gadgets out there if you don’t want to shell out for a Moley. Take, for example, Suvie’s robot kitchen, which is considerably less ambitious and more of a fancy, small oven. It lacks robot arms like the Moley, but it starts at a substantially more affordable $1,199. 

The Suvie Kitchen Robot
Suvie

If you prefer your robot meals to be served outside your home, a restaurant in Illinois is scheduled to open this spring with a robotic chef.

The restaurant will serve dishes from around the world, all prepared using artificial intelligence and articulated hands. The robot will be able to tackle tasks such as preparing ingredients for meals, using cookware and utensils, and cleaning dishes.

If you prefer to be in charge of your cooking and just need an assistant, there’s also the Miso Robotics’ Flippy, which the company claims can learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills over time.

This robot, intended for restaurants, features a single arm and can work a grill or a fryer. The White Castle hamburger chain recently announced that it would be testing the Flippy for use in its stores. 

I’m all for having someone else cook my meals. At $300,000, though, the Moley might cost too much to qualify as an impulse buy.

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