Our kitchens may soon be run by robots. But this is not necessarily a bad thing as Moley Robotics’ founder Mark Oleynik explains.
From driving cars to preparing home-cooked meals, robots are quickly integrating into the human world. One tech company propelling this wave of do-it-themselves innovation is Moley Robotics.
Making cooking automatic
The London-based company has created an automated kitchen system that will allow world-renowned chefs such as Tim Anderson, winner of the 2011 BBC Master Chef title, to upload their recipes. Customers can then download these recipes and have the machines cook the meals. These machines are still in the prototyping stage, said Mark Oleynik, Moley Robotics founder. Oleynik was in Seoul, South Korea as a speaker at Future Convergence Insight Conference 2015. His talk centred around the future of kitchens.
“I think the future of cooking is to keep the cooking in the hands of the chef,” said Oleynik. Even though robots will one day become ubiquitous in kitchens worldwide, chefs should not feel threatened. “The [job of a] chef is a creative job – to create the dish. Robots cannot feel. Robots do not have emotions and cannot understand human requirements and ambitions,” he added.
The numbers game
At the moment, Moley Robotics has created one-and-a-half units and aims to launch around 1,000 of these robotic kitchens commercially in 2018. “It depends [on] how it’s comfortable, how it’s useful,” said the engineer and entrepreneur. By then, potential customers should be able to test the robots in the showroom. He continued, “If it matches your expectations… if it’s comfortable and useful, you can buy it.”
Convenience. Check. Practicality. Check. What are we missing? Price. “I don’t know,” said Oleynik, when asked about the price of a Moley kitchen set, which is a reasonable response since the projected price will probably change in three years time, pending market fluctuations. “We try to make it as cheap as possible so it depends on the component cost. Every first version is expensive, you cannot do it very cheap from the beginning,” he added.
What the future holds
By 2018, Moley Robotics might not be the only one creating robotic kitchens for the everyday person. Big technology corporations eyeing the market can create solutions with more funds, insights and manpower. This, however, does not faze Oleynik. “When you create something, you never think about it (corporations copying ideas),” he said. Moreover, if big corporations do copy his idea and provide consumers with a fully-functional, automated robotic kitchen, that can only be a good thing. More competition in the market can often mean better products and more value for the customer.
This post was originally published on e27.
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