Image credit: DaVinci Kitchen
The turkey takes center stage on Thanksgiving—but side dishes steal the show. Across America, tables are loaded with a dozen or more favorite side dishes that cover the realms of starch, vegetable, sauce, and sweet. Balancing the prep work and cooking the full menus makes most home chefs break out in a sweat.
What if a robot could take the stress away and methodically produce all our favorite dishes? That dream scenario is still in the future, but you can see its possibility in the creativity that DaVinci has poured into its DaVinci Kitchen technology.
The German-based company aims to revolutionize cooking with its fully robotic kitchen that could help bolster restaurants struggling with COVID-19. In the first release, a robotic arm has everything within grasp to create a pasta dish. The robot gathers fresh-made pasta from a pasta machine, boils it in the pasta cooker to al dente, adds all ingredients plus spices, serves it up to waiting guests, and washes the dishes. Hungry diners can save wait time and remain contact free by pre-ordering and paying from an app.
From start to finish, the robot cooks a pasta dish in around six minutes from a selection of 15 ingredients. In an hour, it can make about 40 meals. While the meal choices are limited now, the makers plan to continue teaching the robot new dishes, and Asian foods will be added to the menu next. Restaurant owners also have the option to develop their own menus as long as they are compatible with the DaVinci Kitchen hardware.
A Recipe for a Robotic Kitchen
Space in the DaVinci kiosk is tight. The robotic arm, cooking station, serving section, and refrigerated showcases fill the almost 7-feet wide by 8-feet deep space. To make room for the computing power that drives the kitchen show, DaVinci Kitchen asked its partner OnLogic to be creative.
OnLogic built a solution that matched both the needed size and performance. To automate the kitchen, OnLogic chose a high-performance mini server, powered by Intel® Core™ processors and 16 GB of memory. Even though the server is installed out of sight below the integrated dishwashing machine, the work it does is front and center to everyone watching the automated assistant execute the code that prepares the dishes.
Image credit: DaVinci Kitchen
The costs for the kitchen include a reservation fee, a monthly service and maintenance fee, and a purchase fee that covers taxes, transport, and delivery cost. The combined cost is about $177,000 USD for a basic system.
The intelligent, automated kitchen has a definite high-tech appeal and holds lots of potential to pull in a crowd of curious, hungry eaters. In a video with the media site TechCrunch, DaVinci Kitchen CTO Ibrahim Elfaramawy said the current model is aimed at restaurants or catering services that have difficulty hiring staff or cannot match wage expectations. The 2020 release timing, in a pandemic twist, could also prove helpful, as the kiosk will appeal to guests who prefer eating meals prepared by a sanitized, COVID-19 free robotic arm.
The Kitchen of the Future
For chefs cooking at home, a DaVinci Kitchen breaks most budgets. But history has proven that with Moore’s Law and ground-breaking technology, items that at first seem out of reach can quickly move into affordability and general consumption.
Here’s hoping a robotic, hard-working kitchen assistant finds its way into the home for future Thanksgivings, when we can bring all our family and friends together again.
- Watch DaVinci Kitchen CTO describe what his company is working on.
- See the kiosk in action and review the full specs.
- Learn more about the OnLogic mini server.