After weeks of working away in a fraternity basement at MIT, Michael Farid, Luke Schlueter, Kale Rogers and Brady Knight made a breakthrough. The young engineers had done what young engineers do best: invented something to make their lives easier.
The result was Spyce, a robot capable of doing pretty much everything in the kitchen. Spyce can prepare food, wok cook it, and even clean up—serving dishes within as little as three minutes.
After raising $21 million in funding, the team opened a restaurant in Boston—serving robot-made “complex meals” to order every day.
In an interview with Business Insider, Farid explains that the robot-cooked salad and grain bowls are ordered from an electronic kiosk. “Spyce offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free bowls. There are seven customisable options. A screen displays your order while the robotic kitchen gets to work.”
The woks descends from above, on a table-like apparatus, constantly tossing food around to provide a “really nice and even sear.” The bowls are $7.50, and the only human interaction comes in the form of an employee who adds a range of customisable toppings.
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Robotics and AI are becoming an increasingly important part of our everyday lives. Experts believe everything from banking to transport and surgery will be run, managed or conducted by robots in the coming years.
Food is by no means exempt. Samsung just unveiled its own robot chef, a pair of autonomous white arms that hang from the ceiling. The dishes it prepares are more intricate than Spyce—Cnet feeds back on the “delicious” taste of the bot’s “salt cod with beurre blanc.” But they are far less autonomous: The machine mostly just “sprinkles salt and stirs the sauce” and “got help from Michelin-starred chefs Michel Troigros and Michel Roux Jr.”
Spyce is doing its own thing and doing it well. It does, however, have top culinary guidance, in the form of Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud as the company’s culinary director. He tells Business Insider the partnership is beneficial for his cooking, as the robot kitchen brings “precision, consistency, taste, and also freshness” to preparing food.
Robert Scott Lazar