A new cooking machine comes with 35 ingredients and can be controlled remotely. Users can go online and select what they want to make and send messages to the machine based on portion sizes, heat adjustments and spices.
The machine works alongside a digital platform called Collaborative Cooking, which was originally created to test how multiple chefs can collaborate on the same dish, without having to actually communicate with each other. Five chefs log in to the platform at the same time and begin telling the machine what to do.
“It’s just a matter of who decides to push the first button, who decides which ingredient should go first into the pot,” said Cristian Isberg, a Swedish designer who was involved in building the machine. “There’s a bit of play involved. If someone puts salt in, the next person thinks, okay, which ingredient should I put in if I want him to understand that I want to make a chili stew?”
The website records each action a user takes, and the other chefs wait until the machine finishes that particular task. The cooking machine also prints on a receipt of each action so people can follow along in person.
"It’s too early to say that we want to treat this as a piece of art or make it into a product," Isberg said. "And I think that's good -- sometimes categorizing things tend to close off possibilities."
The project is planning a few experiments, including a pop-up restaurant that allows customers to collaborate on their meals from home, before showing up to the restaurant.