My name is Miguel Valenzuela and I’m the creator of PancakeBot. While not necessarily a disruptive tech startup, I’ve gotten a lot of flack from people, whether directly or indirectly, about why I created PancakeBot. Just search Twitter for “cancer pancake printer” and you’ll find people saying ‘we haven’t cured cancer but we got a pancake printer’.
It’s hard not to let those things get to you. I always want to reach out to those people and tell them that there’s a story behind the PancakeBot, about a father that wanted to inspire his two girls and know they could do whatever their minds wanted as long as they pushed and continued to dream.
PancakeBot inspires many people to explore 3D printing technology with regards to food. It’s being used at colleges and maker spaces around the world to teach the basics of 3D printing, but for some reason or another, people think I can cure cancer.
I really wish I could but I didn’t move in that direction. Instead, I fixed and designed water systems responsible for distributing water to millions of people in San Diego.
The PancakeBot was just a fluke, a crazy idea that was fun. But to see the looks on kids faces when they see a little machine pumping out fun drawings they can eat, it gets me excited. They ask how it works, what can it be used for, and their imaginations get sparked. What if a kid is inspired to make something great with food because of PancakeBot? Doesn’t inspiration account for something?
Your comic seems to poke fun at Zume pizza but what your comic seems to miss is that Zume is opening peoples minds and starting a discussion about how robots and humans can interact with each other. Maybe this could be starting platform for other business around the world that would empower that person sitting on the curb in your comic.
And Tech does put a lot of it’s energy into social good. With maker faires around the world, free resources for people to share information etc., then there is a significant amount of social good being created by tech, whether it’s on purpose or indirectly.
Anyhow, thanks for your comic, I love that someone can start the discussion with wonderful art.
Keep up the good work.