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Introducing a Robot Sous-Chef to Help You Cook

From dicing onion to peeling garlic, there are a ton of menial tasks we all wish we could avoid in the kitchen. While you may not have a dedicated sous-chef on hand—if you do, lucky you—Samsung’s new robotic kitchen assistant aims to be next best thing.

First unveiled last year at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, the AI-powered cobot (collaborative robot) known as Bot Chef was back in the kitchen for CES 2020 in January, serving up salads like a pro.

The futuristic kitchen hand can perform a wide range of kitchen jobs, like chopping, whisking, pouring and cleaning. In short, all the things most home cooks hate and most recipes call for.

Based on Samsung’s multi-purpose programmable robotic platform, Bot Chef’s lightweight manipulator arms have six degrees of freedom, four main joints and three fingers, with the diameter, reach and strength of a human arm. This means it is more than capable of lifting everyday ingredients—like a full bottle of olive oil—and other kitchen utensils. See for yourself in the video below:

The cyborg helper also features advanced internal and external sensors that work alongside artificial intelligence-based planning algorithms. The idea is that Bot Chef will help you cook up a storm, but won’t get in the way (too many cooks in the kitchen and all that). Moreover, it’s advanced mechatronics are discreetly hidden beneath a sleek exterior—think two slender white arms—which will complement any kitchen.

Bot Chef is controlled by simple voice commands, like “Hey, Bot Chef, let’s make a salad.” And thanks to the underlying AI and machine learning, users can easily program, download or customize skills like something out of the Matrix. For example, if you want Bot Chef to stir a pot, you can download the “stirring” skill. In addition, Bot Chef autonomously understands the location of objects, so the user can tell it exactly which pot to stir.

So, exactly how much will these helping hands cost? Samsung has not yet given a specific figure but the company says it wants Bot Chef to be accessible. “In order for this technology to really make an impact in our everyday lives, it needs to be affordable,” a Samsung spokesperson mentioned at CES.  Two robotic thumbs up to that.

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