How Exciting Is a Robot Chef?

Vivian Ho wrote a charming essay on her day spent sampling robot-made food. She never mentioned drive and control systems, servos, or downtime. Instead, she wrote about the cutely wiggling automatic arm that made her tea and the claustrophobia induced by the crush of human beings gathering around the machine that made her burger.

We know that humans get fond of robots, that they can be manipulated by robots, and that they sometimes get violent with robots, but Vivian brought a new emotion to our attention.


She had expected that being served by robots would have an element of magic to it. Obviously, she doesn’t spend her time in a factory where robots do the pick and pack or even the palletizing. Robot-made coffee should have been more exciting than seeing a robot push the button on the coffee machine. Even robot-human pizza collaboration ended up tasting a lot like a frozen pizza.

Remember the first generation of electronic toys? Teddy Ruxpin wowed parent by reading stories convincingly. Toy companies got excited about the possibilities, but kids cooled off on the idea of talking toys.

As an expert said at the time, “The toaster talks. Why should kids get excited about talking teddy bears?”

The Roomba was exciting to a lot of American consumers. People showed off their robot vacuum cleaners and made weird videos starring their Roombas, often co-starring cats, and it did sort of seem like magic. At this point, though, we’ve gotten used to smart home devices as well as industrial robots. Your first robot-produced bowl of ramen might be exciting, but pretty soon the magic wears off.

If you don’t need magic but you do need support for your Rexroth electric industrial motion control systems, we’re the experts you need. Call today.


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