Five Ways Robots Can Improve the World of Food

Recently, Eating Our Words learned about a restaurant in China run entirely by robots. While we applaud the technological innovation necessary to create this bizarre and somewhat terrifying reality, we think the Chinese may have gone too far. We aren't worried about robots enslaving humanity or turning us into batteries like in the Matrix. We just want to know why other more important food issues weren't addressed first with robotics.

With all the gifted scientists in the world, this is what they decided to do first? There are so many more useful applications they seem to have completely ignored. Can you imagine the possibilities? We did. Here is our list of five ways robots can improve the world of food.

Waitstaff Enhancer

Few people work harder than waiters and waitresses. Having said that, there is nothing more annoying when eating out than having a non-attentive server. Too often, we have sat in some weird no-man's land where, apparently, no member of the wait staff was assigned, or we've have had great service until it was time to get the check and then, like magic, our waiter was gone. It's like that one missing sock in the laundry. Where did it go?

It's not necessary to replace waitstaff entirely. Just enhance them with the Serverbot 3000. You can use any year designation you like as long as it sounds like it is from the future, a future filled with awesome. Service will improve for customers, and servers will have more time to flirt with hostesses or text their boyfriends.

Condiment Dispenser

No matter what kind of squeeze bottle technology is invented, there will always be some issue with applying condiments to your sandwich. Maybe it's the need for both a knife and a spoon for your peanut butter and jelly sandwich that vexes you. Perhaps, your hands are too full with a cell phone and eyeliner to put ketchup on your burger...while you drive. There's an easy fix: a condiment dispensing robot. Let's call him Condimbot.

Condimbot would be there to dab your mustard or spread your butter. You could even get him to squeeze your mayo. Now, wouldn't that be nice?

Potato Peeler

The Potatobot would be a miraculous invention that would peel 100 pounds of potatoes in mere seconds, never complaining about bloody, pruned fingers. Unlike humans, Potatobot would not lose its will to live just before Thanksgiving, screaming and cursing that if its family wanted fucking mashed potatoes, they could peel the damn things themselves. Oh, no, Potatobot is calm, cool and collected.

With a few modifications, Potatobot could even be programmed to dice, julienne or mash the taters too! What a glorious world that would be.

Lobster Killer

No one likes this unholiest of all murderous kitchen tasks, but how are we supposed to survive without our daily lobster? What we need is a lobster-killing machine like the Terminator but with a bloodlust only for crustaceans. Then, every time you want a juicy lobster on your plate, Lobsterbot will stab that oversized crawfish in the head with a knife or simply drop him into a boiling pot of water. It makes no difference to Lobsterbot because Lobsterbot has no feelings. The end result is a perfectly dead cockroach of the sea. Win win!

Our only concern is when Lobsterbot malfunctions and decides to stab us instead of the lobster. If movies have taught us anything, that's inevitable.

Risotto Stirrer

Whoever decided that it was necessary to stir risotto constantly for 20 minutes? Was it Martha Stewart? If so, send that lady back to jail. It's difficult to imagine a more mind-numbingly boring task, but when you want to impress your friends who know it takes a lot of time and effort to make the stupid little pasta grain correctly, what are you going to do?

Enter Risottobot. Program your Risottobot to stir that risotto and get perfect pasta every time. You can spend the extra time preparing side dishes, watching soap operas or watching Lobsterbot kill another harmless sea creature for you. It's all good.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke