You are not the only one who is dreading cooking Christmas dinner for your family.
There is a better alternative: a robot chef can take over all the cooking for Christmas.
Many tech companies are developing robots that cook and plate whole meals for both commercial and residential kitchens.
Moley Robotics from London is one of the leaders in the market. It will soon release its product, Moley Robotic Kitchen.
Two robotic arms are attached to rails that hang from the ceiling and can cook over 5,000 recipes. It simply picks the desired dish from a touch screen and adds the ingredients to the containers.
It can turn on oven and hob, grab and place saucepans and spatulas as well as stir, whisk, and flip.
Moley enlisted the help of Tim Anderson, a professional chef who won the BBC’s MasterChef TV contest in 2011.
He explains how he would prepare dishes and how the robot would be programmed to follow his movements.
Anderson says that he would prepare the recipe in a Moley-style kitchen and record my movements. Then, the robot hands and fingers would transfer the information to the robotic hands.
“These movements were then streamlined by robotics teams, and we ended up with a consistent program that produced the same dish every single time.”
Mark Oleynik, chief executive of Moley, says that the system works behind a glass screen to prevent the robot arms from knocking into humans.
“As an extra measure, we have safety radar systems that can detect any unwanted impacts between robot and surface and stop the operation immediately, thus mitigating any potential risks.”
Mr Oleynik says that robot chefs could be a great help in making your Christmas Day dinner. The problem is that the robot chef will not deliver your order in a timely manner.
A Moley Robotic Kitchen costs as low as PS150,000. Dexai Robotics in the USA and Israel are also developing similar kitchen robot systems.
Julia Segal, senior strategy at US food consultancy The Culinary Edge, believes that the cost of such systems will drop. “Many of these technologies begin well beyond the reach of the average home chef. But, the technology will continue to advance, so eventually, prices will drop.
French pizza mini-chain Pazzi is one restaurant that uses a robot to cook.
Two robotic engineering students own the business. They designed and built their own pizza-making robot, which they opened their first Paris branch in 2019. They have two outlets in Paris and one in Brussels.
After receiving an order, the robot at each location will complete the entire process: pressing the dough, adding sauce, topping the pizza with the desired toppings, cooking it, placing it in the take-out box, cutting it into pieces and finally giving it to the customer. It takes approximately five minutes to make a pizza.
Philippe Goldman, co-founder and chief executive of the company, says that robots are programmed to ensure high quality control. “If the robot detects any holes in the dough it will reject it and throw it away.
Although the kitchen can be fully automated when restaurants are open to the public, Pazzi employs human workers. They prepare the ingredients, load the robots in morning, then host and welcome customers.
Goldman added that Pazzi has received over 1,000 inquiries about its robots from people all over the world, including a lot from Italy, the US, and Germany.
Mikaela Pisani-Leal, a data scientist and expert on machine learning at Rootstrap (a consultancy in technology sector management), is Mikaela Pisani-Leal.
She believes robot chefs can offer many benefits to restaurants. These robots could lower viruses in food and improve hygiene… it could completely transform the industry.”
She warns that they could lead to job loss and people needing to reinvent themselves.