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Researchers growing absolutely autonomous robotic chef

Idea rendering of a digital cooking equipment that boasts dozens of substances and a exact cooking laser to assemble and prepare dinner meals utilizing digital recipes. Credit score: Columbia College

Think about having your personal digital private chef; able to prepare dinner up no matter you need; in a position to tailor the form, texture, and taste only for you; and it is all on the push of a button. Columbia engineers have been engaged on doing simply that, utilizing lasers for cooking and 3D printing know-how for assembling meals.

Beneath the steerage of Mechanical Engineering Professor Hod Lipson, the “Digital Meals” crew of his Inventive Machines Lab has been constructing a completely autonomous digital private chef. Lipson’s group has been growing 3D-printed meals since 2007. Since then, meals printing has progressed to multi-ingredient prints and has been explored by researchers and some business corporations.

“We famous that, whereas printers can produce substances to a millimeter-precision, there is no such thing as a heating methodology with this similar diploma of decision,” mentioned Jonathan Blutinger, a Ph.D. in Lipson’s lab who led the challenge. “Cooking is important for diet, taste, and texture improvement in lots of meals, and we questioned if we might develop a technique with lasers to exactly management these attributes.”






Robots that Cook dinner: precision cooking with multiwavelength lasers. Credit score: Columbia College

In a brand new research revealed Sept. 1, 2021, by npj Science of Meals, the crew explored varied modalities of cooking by exposing blue mild (445 nm) and infrared mild (980 nm and 10.6 μm) to rooster, which they used as a mannequin meals system. They printed rooster samples (3 mm thick by ~1in2 space) as a check mattress and assessed a variety of parameters together with cooking depth, coloration improvement, moisture retention, and taste variations between laser-cooked and stove-cooked meat. They found that laser-cooked meat shrinks 50% much less, retains double the moisture content material, and reveals comparable taste improvement to conventionally cooked meat.






Precision Cooking with Multiavelength Lasers: temperature knowledge. Credit score: Columbia College

“In truth, our two blind taste-testers most popular laser-cooked meat to the conventionally cooked samples, which reveals promise for this burgeoning know-how,” Blutinger mentioned.

Whereas Lipson and Blutinger are excited in regards to the potentialities of this new know-how, whose {hardware} and software program elements are pretty low-tech, they notice that there’s not but a sustainable ecosystem to help it. Lipson states that “what we nonetheless do not have is what we name “Meals CAD,” type of the Photoshop of meals. We’d like a excessive degree software program that permits people who find themselves not programmers or software program builders to design the meals they need. After which we want a spot the place individuals can share digital recipes, like we share music.”

Researchers developing fully autonomous robot chef
Hen being cooked by a blue laser. Mild is being directed by two software-controlled mirror galvanometers. Credit score: Columbia College

Nonetheless, says Blutinger, “Meals is one thing that all of us work together with and personalize every day—it appears solely pure to infuse software program into our cooking to make meal creation extra customizable.”


Put security first when planning to pack food-to-go


Extra data:
Jonathan David Blutinger et al, Precision cooking for printed meals through multiwavelength lasers, npj Science of Meals (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41538-021-00107-1

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Columbia College


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