Digital Gastronomy: Our Chance to be Willy Wonka?
I have the short bob, the aberrantly sassy personality, and the lack of compatibility with small children; Wonka and I are basically twins.
The only thing I lack besides his mellifluous way with rhyme, army of miniature trolls, and pedophile smirk is the means to invent my own candy - the banging gadgetry pumping everlasting gobstoppers and edible wallpaper. That’s it, I have everything else.
Cornucopia, developed by two MIT brainchildren, is “a concept design for a personal food factory that brings the versatility of the digital world to the realm of cooking. In essence, it is a 3D printer for food, which works by storing, precisely mixing, depositing and cooking layers of ingredients.
Though I have my reservations about a robot printing out my bowls of cereal and spaghetti, the potential for entirely new flavors is too intriguing to pass up. It would be on the caliber of inventing a new color - mind-blowing! Check out these prototypes:
Digital Chocolatier - Wonka, say goodbye to your magical chocolatier monopoly. Once I get my hands on one of these babies, Meech’s Magical Munchies will be stiff competition. Carousels filled with bacon bits, candied jalapeños, and fruity pebbles will help me create my personal delicacies, all instantaneously thanks to the thermoelectric, rapid cooling cup.
Virtuoso Mixer - No, this isn’t your perfect bartender - though that would be one heck of an idea. It’s an intricate 3-tiered device that houses various ingredients on the top, crush, mix, chop, stir, dehydrates, etc. the ingredients in the middle, and extrudes the product at the bottom. You may question its practicality and ask, “What can you make with this?” Well, friend, we don’t know! We’ll just have to wait and see what our digital gastronomers can come up with.
Robotic Chef - This is like a George Forman on crack. Purposed to transform a single solid food object like a steak, fish or banana, the Robotic Chef uses an array of interchangeable manipulation capabilities ranging from elongation and torsion to cutting and injecting spices to cook food with a surgeon’s precision.
Digital gastronomy seems extremely sci-fi and Frankenstein-y to me. Knowing me I’ll end up with a neon piece of spicy salmon that eats people’s hair…but on the other hand, the chance to discover the unimaginable is too good to pass up.
The new ‘vanilla’ and ‘cinnamon’ equivalents can be available with a touch of a button! College freshman, you can say goodbye to eating ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches everyday.
Are you sold?
The tech’s not fully there yet, but check out these in the meanwhile:
BurritoB0t - Robotic burrito maker
Briggo - Digital barista available at UT
Robotic Chefs - Sushi-making, omeletee-cooking robotic chefs