Meet the Robot Chefs

Robot Chefs for Family Use

Zhang Zhong introduced the robot chef to the BJTU. Asked why he chose to try the new machines, Zhang said: “The Chinese government advocates building a resource-saving country and the Ministry of Education advocates building a resource-saving campus. We are actively responding to government requirements. We are also trying to raise efficiency, save energy, and reduce carbon emissions and labor costs.”

Zhang predicts that the robot chefs will be widely used in the catering industry. “They are in line with standardization, energy saving, and emission reduction,” he said. However, machines will not be able to completely replace human chefs, he added. Robot chefs are suitable for use in university canteens. Although they can mass-produce most ordinary dishes, when it comes to high-end cuisine, human chefs are irreplaceable.

“The highest standard of traditional Chinese cooking can only be achieved by human chefs. Standardization allows no individuation,” he added.

Although the robot chef has only been on the market for three years, it is already widely available. “It can be used in public service canteens in cities, universities, middle and elementary schools, canteens of large enterprises and independent restaurants. Soon it will be used aboard an aircraft carrier fleet,” said Sun Shili. Such robot chefs have also been introduced to Singapore. Both Huawei Technologies and Ajisen Ramen, a fast-food chain, are customers of Pansum.

“In the future, it will be a social trend for robot chefs to operate in family kitchens,” said Sun Shili. “As China gradually becomes an aging society, labor shortages will become more prominent. Now most young people don’t have time to cook. So we can expect families to use robots,” Sun explained.

Sun went on to say that a smaller domestic robot chef has been developed, but not officially promoted. It is expected to hit the market in three to five years. By then, foreigners who like Chinese cuisine can enjoy their favorite stir-fries without having to leave home.

      1   2