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Food For The Future

Imagine a not-so-far future where one machine can prepare all the types of food — Italian, Continental, Mediterranean, Indian and the other types of cuisine that you would love to munch upon. This might well be the ‘Abracadabra’ that the home-makers and chefs are looking for.

Photo by Katie Smith

Sounds too good to be true ? Well, then you will be goggle-eyed sooner than you would expect. In case you haven’t heard it already , Moley Robotics are trying to do the same by having robotic arms that replace humans to prepare different types of food. However, technically it doesn’t count as a single machine as it replaces the human arms with the help of the robotic arms. But the price of the machine is now quite out of the common people’s afforadability — $10,000. This machine was slated for release around 2018. But the commercial kitchens have not yet been put up for sale even 2 years hence. But this could well be the predecessor of all the food-making machines that are to come.

For Example in 2019, an Indian startup called Robotic Kitchen has invented a machine that can cook 600 plus dishes . This is a single machine which can cook dishes such as fried rice , coconut rice , prawn masala , panner butter masala and even some side courses such as potato fry .

If someone asks me why they stand a great chance to be successful, it all boils down largely to 2 reasons — consistency of the food and the extent to which food preparation can be automated as the technology grows into the future. Other factors which can have an impact includes time taken for food preparation, culinary art preference of the related region and the cost worthiness of the machine.

Photo by Mak

Well then, what about the restaurants that are ready for an opportunity to serve us scrumptious delicacies? Do they fade away when these machines take a good portion of the revenue away by feeding people at the comfort of their homes?

Again a big NO. In fact, the biggest gainers of the technology growth has to be the restaurants. Restaurants have to adopt the technologies wisely in order to win the game. AI, Reality (both AR & VR), 3D Food Printing will be the key technology for the food restaurants to use as their USP. Imagine a place where AR/VR would give you the experience of dining in multiple brands of restaurants at one place with just one machine making different kinds of food. But all these technologies are at nascent stages and will require time to gel with each other. They all require huge amounts of data for processing which 5G or may be 6G networks are capable of ( sighhh! *remembering my usage limit of 1GB of 2G data for a month just more than half a decade back*). So there is plenty of time for the restaurants to re-strategize their moves to invest in tech.

Another way would be dark kitchen. But the growth of such kitchens would depend upon the growth of the food delivery services. And at some point in time they would stagnate due to few limitations such as urbanisation scale. Dark kitchen although looks more like a cost cutting measure, it has way more issues than space in urban areas. For instance, the food made in the dark kitchen will always have an issue regarding the hygiene standards maintained by the restaurant. The main preference of people choosing a restaurant for dine out is the ambience provided by the restaurant to its customers.

But the main takeaway from all these types of food automation is that just like the industries who for example give up on additional works such as packaging in order to focus on their core competencies, these machines can reduce the labour of home-makers and chefs to do a permutation of dishes in order to make new varieties of food that haven’t existed before.

So in short, all it takes is just a click away from the consumer to make your food in the future, be it home-cooking or restaurant service. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?

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Yeshwant V

Yeshwant V

Ambivert | Mechanical Engineer | Epistemophile | Content speaks …. Always…