CES 2015: cooking up robots that cook

In the CES emerging company space, food got a surprising amount of attention. We all have to eat, so it's a steady market, but food robots? Darn right!

Unlike home automation, food robots already have a real following. Think programmable coffee makers, bread machines, sous vide cookers and the like.

The folks at CES 2015 want to kick it up a notch. Like, for instance, an actual robot arm that keeps your saute shaking.

Here's what I saw that point the way to the kitchen of tomorrow.

The PicoBrew Zymatic is claimed to be the world's first fully automatic "all-grain beer brewing appliance." About the size of microwave oven, it will brew you dozens of kinds of fresh beer. Now we just need printable beer bottles.

In case the beer makes you lazy, the Sereneti Cooki robot will cook your food for you. It is a robot arm that operates over a pan, stirring and mixing. A robot that prepped food - especially vegetables - would be more useful, but it's a step in the right direction.

Of course, once your robot cooks your food you need something to put it in. How about some fresh roti or wraps made by your Rotimatic machine? Ingredients in the top, fresh roti out the bottom.

To spice up that wrap even more, add some fresh sprouts from your Home To Nature automated seed sprouter. It controls humidity and temperature for optimal sprouting.

Just add seeds and 3 days later, fresh sprouts. They offer different mixes of seeds for different tastes and accompanying foods.

After a freshly made robot dinner, how about a freshly roasted cup of coffee? Get a cup from the world's first coffee roast-grind-brew machine from Bonaverde.

And if you want a picnic, the Bloomsky crowd-connected weather monitor will tell you the weather out your door and at any of Bloomsky-owning friends. A social weather network.

The take

People tend to be a little more frivolous in their kitchens. We all like to eat, but the work of cooking, perhaps not so much.

Thus kitchen automation. Lots of kitchen gadgets get bought, but most of them end up in a drawer or cabinet. The challenge is something - like the 1980s food processor - that not only gets bought but also daily use.

Some things sound better than they are, too. That roast-grind-brew coffee machine ignores the fact that coffee takes anywhere from 12-24 hours after roasting for the flavors to develop. So roast-wait-grind-brew.

Me, I'm waiting for the prep robot: dice those onions! Peel and cut those carrots! Cut those brussels sprouts off the stem!

Maybe next year's CES.

Comments welcome, as always. What would your food robot do? Clean up?

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