Robotic chefs could soon be coming to a kitchen near you.
London-based company Moley Robotics expects to start selling its robotic kitchen technology this year, promising it can download a recipe and “reproduce it exactly as the MasterChef would have cooked it”.
The technology might sound a bit sci-fi, but Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is taking it seriously, and has been in talks with the inventors to get a better understanding of how red meat might feature in the design.
“We’ve been working with them to understand if meat is on their agenda, and if it’s something they want to cook and demonstrate this technology on,” said Sean Starling, MLA’s general manager of research, development and innovation.
He said MLA definitely wanted Australian red meat to be on the menu.
Not a cheap steak
The technology is likely to be initially expensive, with reports suggesting a price tag beyond $18,000.
Mr Starling said if the technology took off, there could be wider benefits than just easy home-cooked meals.
“I’m making the prediction that a household that invests in a [cooking] solution like this, is probably going to pay a premium for the raw ingredients used by the robotic chef,” he said.
Farmers to win as well
Mr Starling said robotic chefs could mean big business for red-meat producers.
“This will encourage people to keep red meat in their offering at home, because not everyone is successful at cooking red meat and quite often won’t come back if they haven’t had a good experience,” he said.
“And for those consumers who have got this at home, they may be willing to pay a premium for meat if we can guarantee they would have a perfect eating experience because it’s been cooked accurately through this robo-chef.”
Mr Starling said he was not expecting the technology to be available in Australia for at least two years.
Moley Robotics has been contacted for comment.