When you go out for a quick bite to eat, sometimes one of the key words in that phrase is “quick.” It’s always nice when you can also get something healthy, and an even bigger bonus if the meal is inexpensive. A group of robotics engineers from MIT have created Spyce, a restaurant that combines all three of those criteria while also incorporating robots.
The creators call Spyce “the world’s first robotic kitchen that cooks complex meals,” which is a pretty obvious shot at Flippy, the robotic arm-turned burger flipper that took the world by storm a few months ago before getting shut down for being too slow. “Complex” in this instance is definitely more involved than flipping a burger, though stir fry isn’t exactly the most difficult food prep around. Spyce does, however, have some neat tricks when it comes to creating your meal. Co-founder Michael Farid explains:
Once you place your order, we have an ingredient delivery system that collects them from the fridge. The ingredients are portioned into the correct sizes and then delivered to a robotic wok, where they are tumbled at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The ingredients are cooked and seared. And once the process is complete, the woks tilt downward and put food into a bowl. And then they’re ready to be garnished and served.
Once the food has been cooked, the robotic woks are sprayed with high-power hot water jets between each cook to remove any remaining items from the previous meal. Your bowl is then picked up by an actual human, and finished with a variety of toppings of your choosing. You’re then given your bowl and can enjoy it at your leisure.
The idea for Spyce was hatched in the basement of the founders’ fraternity house at MIT. Once the founders got a handle on the process, they wanted to add a bit of legitimacy to what they were doing, so they reached out to Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud. More accurately, one of the co-founders guessed at Boulud’s email address and eventually got a response. Boulud was intrigued, and flew out to Boston to see the robot chefs in action. Boulud liked what he saw enough to take on a role of Culinary Director for Spyce. You can see more about what Spyce brings to the table in their video below:
Last Updated on May 18, 2018.