Published on ShanghaiDaily.com (http://www.shanghaidaily.com/)
Customers watch as a robot tips food into a container at a restaurant in downtown Shanghai yesterday. The robot chef had been on display at the World Expo.
Metallic masterchef causes quite a stir
Created: 2011-2-17 0:21:17
A LOCAL fast food restaurant on downtown Nanjing Road W. has become the first in the country to hire two automatic robot chefs, able to cook delicious Chinese cuisine within three minutes.
According to staff at the restaurant, the Wishdoing, the robots can now serve customers eight popular dishes, including Kung Pao Chicken, spicy diced chicken with peanuts and Mapo Tofu, bean curd with chili sauce.
The workers only have to press buttons on the robots to choose a dish and they will display the name of the ingredients and their quantities.
In appearance, the robots look like huge kitchen surfaces equipped with iron pots and hobs. The robot starts cooking once the ingredients have been prepared by -rotating the pot.
It only took three minutes for a robot to clean the pot from a previous meal, stir the ingredients, finish -cooking and then move the food onto a plate for serving.
Although the robots cost as much as 200,000 yuan (US$30,350) each, the fast food chain is planning to install them in all of its 100 outlets across the country, according to an official, surnamed Ma, with the restaurant's parent company, Shanghai Qi Ding Food Development Co.
The robots were displayed at the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion during the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and attracted a lot of attention, said Ma.
"We believe that the cooking robots will become a trend in the future for the fast food industry as they guarantee low-carbon emissions, food safety and standard tastes that don't change from one outlet to another," said Ma.
The coming of the robots has raised concerns among some chefs, who worry that they could lose the jobs.
But Ma said the concerns were totally unnecessary.
"The robot chefs will be one part of the restaurant, but it doesn't mean that we would abandon traditional cooking methods," said Ma.
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