'robots' on Serious Eats

Video: Robot Orders a Scone (and Tips Very Well)

The folks at Anybots must have been testing QB, their latest remote-control robot, on an empty stomach yesterday. That's when a coffeeshop patron in Mountain View, California (prime-time Silicon Valley, natch) shot this video. Scrub forward to about 1:10 for the action. He may not be the most handsome robot, but he's a big tipper (more than 100 percent). More

Video: Robots Serving Breakfast

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology recently demonstrated two of their robots serving breakfast. The Mahru-Z (the biped) opens a microwave and takes out a cup, then puts the cup and the piece of toast in a basket; Mahru-M (the wheeled one) brings the basket to the table. Even though this process takes about two minutes, it feels much, much longer. Although it's good to see that the field of Robot Servant Technology is going somewhere, it may be a while before we get a Rosie. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Pizza Peels Inspire New Type of Robot 'Hand'

I somehow missed this awesome pizza-related robotics news last week, but it looks like the Japanese have taken inspiration from pizza-makers and the way they control their pizza peels in designing a new type of robot "hand": "An Italian chef dextrously manipulates a pizza in an oven using a tool called a pizza peel," says Makoto Kaneko, the team's leader at Osaka University. A pizza peel consists of little more than a flat blade attached to the end of a long pole, but it gives the chef a surprising degree of control over the pizza. Kaneko's team has designed... More

Video: Japanese Robot Girl Makes Coffee

HINA is an impressively dexterous robot girl who can make coffee, from grinding the beans to pouring the water into the coffee filter (granted, with some human help). For more information, check out creator Mujaki's website. Watch the video after the jump.... More

In Videos: Futurama's Bender as Cooking Bot

An oldie but goodie. Futurama's alcoholic robot, Bender, hopes to humiliate archrival chef Elzar by training with a Yoda-like mentor and then going on Iron Cook to challenge him. Training scenes include Bender peeling a potato à la Star Wars with a lightsaber and ingesting a can of whole peppercorns and then twisting his head around like a pepper mill. Video, after the jump.... More

The Year That Was on Serious Eats: Science

Continuing The Year That Was are our favorite food-science stories from 2008. Things Scientists Made Test Tube Meat! Wired covered a three-day meeting of the In Vitro Meat Consortium in Ås, Norway, detailing the possibility of test tube meat. Cheaper to produce and more environmentally friendly, in vitro meat production may arrive in grocery stores within 5 to 10 years. In response, PETA announced a $1 million prize to the "first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012." An "electic tongue"! Spanish scientists developed a portable "electric tongue" that can identify wine characteristics. Sunscreen for fruits and veggies! Sunscreen isn't just for sentient beings anymore; now... More

Robot Flips Pancakes

mailonsunday.co.uk Yes, I would like some pancakes, Mr. Robot. The Japanese have done it again with the Motoman robot, a pancake-flipping wonder of circuits and electricity. This awesome machine recently debuted at a three-day exhibition of robots in Osaka. If you could have a robot, what would you want it to cook for you? [via Coldmud]... More

In Videos: Mr. Asahi, the Bartending Robot

Do you love drinking beer, but hate pouring it? Fork over $200,000 and you can have you own personal Mr. Asahi Robot Bartender! He's even better if you don't like talking to humans. Don't let the little flashing heart on his chest fool you; he has no soul. All he can do is give you beer. Watch the robot in action after the jump.... More

Coca-Cola Vending Machine Robot in Japan

Photo from sanchome on Flickr. The only thing better than a regular robot is one that doubles as a Coca-Cola vending machine with scorpion-like pincher hands. The logistics are unclear—does it really vend cola cans? Is there a person tall and strong enough to wear this bulky suit? File this under times I wish I was a Japanese school girl outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo to see this weirdness walk by.... More

In Videos: The Chief Cook Robot Learns How to Make a Ham and Cheese Omelet

The Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland has adapted Fujitsu's HOAP-3 robot into the Chief Cook Robot. Capable of learning recipes and techniques, a Nintendo Wii remote is used to guide the teaching scenario and the answer the robot's questions. Check out the video, where the robot learns how to whip eggs, grate cheese, and slice ham for the omelet.... More

Photo of the Day: Optimus Prime Made Out of Cans

It's your favorite leader of the Autobots, ready to kick ass with organic chili and canned tuna: Optimus Prime! Matt Boulton took this photo of Optimus Prime made out of cans at Canstruction Vancouver, a can sculpture competition after which the cans are donated to food banks. For more information, visit canstruction.org. [via neatorama]... More

In Videos: Readybot, the Kitchen Cleaning Robot

The Readybot will be the indispensable cleaning tool of the future! The far off future. Right now this dishwasher-size prototype is still learning the ropes and can only do less than half of your common kitchen chores. Adam summed up the robot's speed pretty well: "Mold would grow faster than that robot could clean it." Watch our little robot friend clean up a kitchen mess after the jump. [via Engadget]... More

Photo of the Day: Robot Cupcakes

I didn't think hello naomi's cupcakes could get any cooler, but then she churns out these interchangable robot cupcakes and I know it probably won't get any better than that. We may have reached the pinnacle of cute and geeky cupcake art. [via Geekadelphia and Neatorama] Previously: Super Mario Cupcakes and Sweet Cupcakes by hello naomi.... More

Latest in Farmer Apparel: Japanese Robot Suits

Researchers at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have developed a robot farming "exoskeleton" suit designed to help aging farmers lift heavy objects and perform manual tasks more easily. The current cost for each suit is about 500,000-1,000,000 yen ($4,500-$9,000) but may drop to 200,000 yen ($1,800) when they aim to mass produce it in four years. [via Boing Boing]... More

The Rice Krispies Robots are Coming

I usually brush off the latest robot technology (really, what am I going to do with a robot that can run, take care of the elderly and deliver babies, all at the same time?), but when I heard that someone had created robots made of Rice Krispies I thought, "Well, now we're on to something. Something that snaps, crackles and pops. And then runs away from you." The research done by the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, the Mattress Factory and MAYA Design has resulted in a few tips on what food makes for good robot building (apples and licorice are bad; cucumbers and Rice Krispies are good) along with a handy tutorial video that guides you through... More

I Welcome Our New Donut Robot Overloads

385 dph ("donuts per hour") is how fast the Belshaw Donut Robot 42 churns out donuts. Derrick bought one of these bad babies on eBay and documented the robotic donut making process for the rest of the world to behold. This section is best described as the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, as long as 'D' stands for Doughnuts, like in 'Doughnut Day'. The doughnuts climb this ramp relentlessly, pulled along by the doughnut chains. Now, you could be the German defense forces preventing the doughnuts from making a beach head, but no matter how big your belly is, 6.5 donuts per minute are going to eventually overwhelm your defenses. The ones that come after the initial assault pile up... More

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