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MIT Student Builds Baking Bot

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the grandmother-what-big-shiny-metal-arms-you-have! dept.

Robotics 6

fysdt writes "Cookies are a pretty awesome treat, but sometimes making them from scratch can be a bit of a chore. Fortunately, there is now a robot created to specifically bake cookies--although it probably isn't good enough to replace human kitchen staff or grandma just yet. Created by MIT Lab student Mario Bollini, the PR2 Bakebot loves nothing more than to bake up a batch of cookies from scratch. The robot's left hand holds onto the mixing bowl, while its right hand does the hard work, mixing ingredients with a rubber spatula. Its head contains a laser scanner and sensor camera used to determine what each ingredients is and how much mixing and stirring it needs to do."

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"Now" vs. baking robots which are on sale?... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36440494)

Small, automatic "ovens" (form following their purpose, in the spirit of Roomba; also, a story about a toaster [] ) are out there. Inexpensive, low maintenance. Formally for bread or jams (and cake?), I believe, but a cookie is basically just a larger pastry divided into pieces. Or, at the least, many robots good at mixing stuff.

The thing from TFS... looks like visions of household robots from the 50s/60s scifi (kinda like this [] ; I've seen one actually built by "futurist" of the times, good probably only for posing to a photoshot with a normal vacuum cleaner); which were mostly a manifestation of cargo cult scifi fans pushing collective imagination on very limited path. Sad, really; Roombas or automatic mini-bakeries were probably possible much earlier than they showed up.

Re:"Now" vs. baking robots which are on sale?... (1)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448642)

You could make a breadmaker functionally identical to todays with 1700s tech.
It would be fairly trivial with 1850.

It's just that you need quite a lot of power to run it.
The timers and clocks are easy, as is the baking - but turning the paddle round and round isn't at all simple.
A breadmaker with a mule tied to it, or that had a steam engine to do the kneading would be somewhat less convenient.

Re:"Now" vs. baking robots which are on sale?... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608554)

Even (roughly) architecturally modern computer could be probably done in antiquity ;p (hydraulic / water gates, most likely?) ...though I was thinking more about something not too far from present approaches (which use, yup, the convenience of electrical power)

Something Roomba-like shouldn't have many problems with showing up a decade, maybe two, earlier - just more bulky, I guess; or even earlier (if people would accept more bulk or, say, a retractable cord; considering the "futurist" desires in interior design of the times in question, remodelling of rooms for vacuum cleaner perhaps wouldn't be much of an issue). Even easier with ovens.

But no, our imagination was hijacked by cargo cultisms / Rosie the robot.

Fantastic (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36451752)

I love how it just dumps the bowls on the floor.

We already have cookie-making robots. They're owned by companies like Nabisco, Entenmann's, and Pepperidge Farm. They automatically mix ingredients, dole out precise portions, bake, cool and package cookies by the millions.

I suppose there are lessons to be learned by re-inventing the wheel, but let's be realistic here...

Re:Fantastic (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464146)

There's a huge difference between industrial high-volume equipment and something that's suitable for residential use or assistance (though this is nowhere near practical for that yet). This isn't reinventing the mass-production wheel.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481094)

We already have cookie-making robots.

They're called women!

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