IoT, Technology and Digitization

Robochefs, culinary platforms and services

One of the most intriguing exhibits at this year’s Hannover Messe (industrial fair) is a robotic system offering top notch cooking services.

The system is the brainchild of Mark Oleynik of Moley Robotics, a London based engineer: It consists of a pair of robotic arms and hands suspended from the ceiling of a kitchen-like system, using conventional appliances and utensils. The hands are made by Shadow Robot, a British company with significant experience in working for NASA. The system’s cooking is based on an algorithm containing a 3-D representation of the cooking of a master chef. To prepare the algorithm the chef wears gloves with sensors and is filmed from different angles. The system then exactly mimics the cooking process using the hands. For the Hannover demonstration it is preparing a very well received crab bisque.

As such the system resembles learning robots such as Baxter, a manufacturing robot which learns by repetition rather than programing or ABB’s YuMi, also introduced at the Hannover Fair.


Now the interesting thing is that the robot will be initially supported by an online library of more than 2,000 recipes made by different master chefs provided through Moley. Undoubtedly third parties will be soon able to provide others and users will be able to upload their own to use, exchange or sell. In the not too distant future the company will potentially be making more revenue selling cooking Apps and will be providing the hardware at a lower price for people to standardize around.

The beginning of a new culinary service platform with platform economics and network effects? Who will win the kitchen platform wars as others enter the fray?

This will take some time to mature, the system is still a prototype, but… “the future is served”.

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