Robotic chefs have been featured in science fiction for decades, but now, they are becoming a reality. Cooking is an art that requires practice, patience, and skill. It is an activity that humans have been enjoying for centuries. But what if we can train robots to become chefs too? Researchers from the University of Cambridge have done just that. They have successfully trained a robotic 'chef' to watch and learn from cooking videos, and recreate the dish itself. The researchers started by programming their robotic chef with a cookbook of eight simple salad recipes. They then showed the robot a video of a human demonstrating one of the recipes. The robot was able to identify which recipe was being prepared and make it. This is quite an impressive feat considering that cooking involves many variables, such as timing, temperature, and texture.
Moreover, the researchers discovered that video content can be a valuable and rich source of data for automated food production. By watching cooking videos, the robot was able to incrementally add to its cookbook. At the end of the experiment, the robot even came up with a ninth recipe on its own. This shows that robots can learn and adapt to new situations, just like humans. The researchers' findings were reported in the journal IEEE Access. They believe that their work could enable easier and cheaper deployment of robot chefs. While several commercial companies have built prototype robot chefs, none of these are currently commercially available. However, with this research, we could see more robot chefs in the future. The implications of this research go beyond just cooking. Automated food production could revolutionise the food industry, making it more efficient and cost-effective. It could also help to address issues such as food waste and food insecurity.