A.I powered robotic chefs: From HoReCa to Home

Imagine having Michelin-star food everyday at the comfort of your home. Technology has advanced to an extent that you no longer have to simply imagine it. We are already consuming food which are machine made, like ice-cream, chips and candy. Now artificial Intelligence powered robotics are here to cook a five-star meal for you. 

Robot Cooking A.I.

Photo Source: Pexel

Depending upon the requirement and level of assistance needed for cooking, different kitchen robotics are available in the market. A.I. powered robotic kitchens eliminates any human interaction with the cooking process. Food industry is one of the latest segments to welcome artificial intelligence. While innovation of smart kitchen was undertaken in 2015, and the futuristic technology is a thing of the present.

A.I. Powered Kitchen Appliances and Robotics

It has rather become common to come across a high-end restaurant that utilise “automated cooks” which are equipped with “arms and hands” that imitate human movements.

For example, Moley robotics is one such innovation which undertakes 100% charge of cooking. Cutting vegetables, sautéing, seasoning and finally garnishing the dish on your plate, this robotics kitchen will take care of the entire process. The makers of this innovation have designed the robotics in such a way that it can mimic the cooking style of renowned chefs. So, if you wish to have your sunny-side up prepared in Gordon Ramsey way, the robotics kitchen will make it happen.

Moley robotics kitchen was designed by Mark Olyenik, a Ph.D. mathematician and computer scientist back in 2014. For two years, the prototype underwent several rounds of testing and modifications. In 2017, the company finalised on the concept of a futuristic kitchen which is equipped with smart kitchen appliances and robotic hands. In 2021, it made its commercial debut in the U.K market.

Similar to Moley robotics, there are other robotic “chefs” available in the global market that can be programmed to cook various dishes. Some brands have said that their A.I programmed robots can cook upto 200 different variety of meals. But it is worth noting that these suave automated chefs are not easy to purchase and are a luxury item. This sophisticated technology is highly popular in nations such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Japan and United Arab Emirates.

Semi-automated A.I. robots, however, function on different levels. Some robots are programmed to undertake specific tasks such as flipping omelette or dicing vegetables. These are guided by human inputs. For example, a semi-automated kitchen appliance can be designed to only stir the pot, while the cooking process such as dicing the vegetables, seasoning and serving the dish is done by humans.

Semi-automated robotic appliance can be used to prepare one-pot meal such as Dal, pasta, soup and so on.

Global Calling of A.I. Robotic Cooking

As per a research study on ‘Global Cooking Robots Market’, there is a spike in demand for professional robots and co-bots in the HoReCa (hotels, restaurants, & cafes) segment. The study also suggests that global cooking robots market is estimated to exhibit a 15% CAGR during 2022-2028.

Robot Kitchen Market Size

Source: Verified Market Research

A report by Verified Market Research states that Robot Kitchen Market size was valued at US $ 1.7 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US $ 4.4 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 12.6% from 2021 to 2028. The growth figures might differ by a margin but it is guaranteed that the Bot-Kitchen or Bot-Chef is expected to witness an upward trend in the coming years.

At present, North America, Canada are leading the markets for A.I. powered kitchens and robotic chefs. In South Asia, countries like India, China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are the leading the demand for automated chefs/robots.

From Exorbitant to Affordable!

Fully automated kitchen robotics are a luxury item. For example, it can range anywhere between US $ 3,00,000 to US $ 3,40,000 (INR. 2,47,53,750 to INR. 2,80,54,250)

It is highly unlikely for an average or middle-class income family to afford. In the recent years brands such as Moley, Samsung, HeroX, NVIDIA, Sony, Miso Robotics, QSR Automations and Spyce have launched kitchen robots in the U.S and European markets.

In September 2022, the Xiaomi Mijia cooking robot launched for pre-order in China for 5,999 Yuan (INR. 70,906). The Xiaomi Mijia cooking robot seems more affordable and as the company claims, can cook up to three different dishes at once across the main pot, steamer and basket.

Potential in India

Indian brands such as Robot Nosh and Mechanical Chef are offering robotic chefs under Rs. 50,000. The latter company is expected to further reduce the price to Rs. 35,000. These affordable price range will pave way for robotic chefs to widen its reach in the HoReCa segment and residential markets as well. But these innovations can be categorized as semi-automated since it requires certain level of human engagement.

While using Nosh robot, one has to place spices, diced vegetables and condiments in a designated tray and load it in the machine. The user can use Nosh robot app in their phone to choose a dish or select the dish menu on screen in the machine, and load the ingredients required to cook a specific dish.

The Robot Nosh, brainchild of Bengaluru based entrepreneur Yatin Varachhia, can make upto 120 variety of dishes. Nosh is not the first robotic set-up, but it is India’s first custom-made automated cooking design.

Similarly Chennai based company, RoboChef is the world’s first fully automated robotic kitchen cooking 800+ recipes with zero manual effort powered by IoT, Robotics & AI.

Smart kitchen and automated chef have the capacity to create customised menus based on our dietary requirements and lifestyle. While international brands are equipped to cook pasta, pizza, burger or omelets, Indian rasoi needs a “helping hand” that can prepare range of dishes, from biryani to butter dosa.

Bangalore-based Mukunda Foods is one company which is offers extra-ordinary robotic appliances to prepare rice, masala dosa and paranthas. Founded in 2012 by Eshwar Vikas and Sudeep Sabat, Mukunda Food’s innovations make nearly 14 types of automated cooking machines and their demands have been increasing among cloud kitchens, restaurant owners and caterers.

It’s wide range of robotic machines include Biryani Bot, Dosamatic and Wokie, a device to prepare ramen and noodles. The company says that it can prepare upto 200 orders in a day. The application of the machinery has been specifically deigned to meet the demand of restaurants and cloud kitchen. The company is credited with making world’s first fully automatic dosa machine.

No Time To Cook!!

Many semi-automated cloud kitchens in India are now working on robot chefs manufactured by kitchen automation and robotics companies. The future of the desi food scene is witnessing more automated ghost kitchens to ensure convenience and swiftness in food preparation and delivery.

A.I. powered robotic chefs can never replace the human touch. But it can certainly make a difference with quality consistency and maintenance of hygiene. In a post-pandemic era, people are more wary of what they eat and who cooks their food. To ensure minimal adulteration, human error, we can certainly welcome a robot sous chef into our lives. Our food preferences have evolved in the post-pandemic era. We live in an era where our lives are occupied by WFH culture with no time to spend elaborate hours in the kitchen for cooking. India’s appetite for quality food has grown and so has the food delivery industry, fueled the rise of the robo-chefs in the HoReCa segment.

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