Moley Robotics makes robotic cooking arms with the dexterity to whip up lobster bisque and wipe up spills. But with a release date of 2017 and projected price of over $14,000, you won’t see them in homes anytime soon. Still, the idea of getting a robot to cook for you — at a more affordable price — was alive and well at CES 2016.
TNL’s OneCook is a cooking robot that drops food from separate containers into a pot-like device and heats and stirs it. It follows the recipes on the accompanying app to get the timing right and has RFID technology so the onions get added before the garlic, for example. Creator Hanlin Hong says some meals can be ready in about five minutes. You can order meals, each under $10, from the app, or you can add your own ingredients and recipes to the dispensers and app.
The prototype is definitely not counter-ready. It looks like a portable air conditioner. Inside are the individual dispensers that hold the food and a pot that gets heated. There’s also a stirring apparatus and place for boiled water to drain. The interior isn’t big enough to flip a steak, but the OneCook can make you some mac and cheese. When I dropped by, I got a taste of stir-fried green beans, which were pretty flavorful, if a tad limp.
Hong says the robot will cost between $200 and $400, though when it debuts on Kickstarter, you’ll be able to get one for between $100 and $200.
The Sereneti Cooki was at CES 2016 as well. Instead of encasing everything in a shell, its cooking process is pretty out in the open. Inside houses the trays for all the ingredients, and these trays flip over into the bowl at the recipe’s designated times. A robotic arm with a spatula-like utensil stirs the ingredients as an induction heater cooks the food. CEO Timothy Chen is hoping to partner with companies like Blue Apron, which could deliver you pre-packaged trays with all the ingredients, taking that extra cooking step out of the ingredient-delivery equation.
But even if you’re not the one doing the cooking, there’s still cleaning. “It’s a $50 robotic arm,” Chen says of the Cooki. “You can actually take the arm off, because there’s no electricity from the shoulder on down.” That means it’s also dishwasher safe.
Sereneti plans on charging around $500 for the Cooki, which will ship later this year.