MIT aims to do away with cooks

Posted by Emma Woollacott

MIT thinks it might be able to eliminate cooking forever through a series of research projects.

It's looking into using 3D printing technology to produce meals at the touch of a button.

Ingredients are piped into a mixer and extruder head that can accurately deposit elaborate food combinations with sub-millimeter precision, says MIT. While this is going on, the food is heated or cooled as appropriate.

For those that like a slightly more personal touch, MIT is also working on a robotic chef.

The prototype consists of a toolhead and two robotic arms, with the toolhead holding all the chef's traditional implements: "Drill bits, mineral and spices injection syringes, and a lower power laser diode, which can programmatically cut, cook and spice the food held by the arm," says MIT.

The Cornucopia devices would make cooking a touch more predictable, and also allow completely new techniques.

"Far from simply bringing the production of processed food to the home, the Digital Gastronomy machines described here attempt to use the most advanced food technologies and techniques to retain the freshness of ingredients, increase the potential for personal creative expression and develop a new and tighter connection between food production and our digital lives," says the team.

"We believe these technologies cannot only expand the palette available to cooks today, but can also do it in a networked, collaborative and accessible fashion, akin to the digital design and fabrication revolution that is well under way in industrial design and architecture."

Yum, yum - can't wait.