OliveR the Programmable Cooking Robot

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[Oak Robotics] is putting the finishing touches on their programmable cooking robot named OliveR.

It’s not about to make you a souffle (but where did it get the milk?), but it does aim to take the boring parts out of cooking — namely the tedious stirring, adjusting temperatures and the timing of ingredients. While that does make it significantly less impressive than the original title suggests, the team has a blog running of successful recipes — They’ve made some excellent chicken curry, Korean beef, and even Jambalaya!

The team is currently looking for beta testers, and while we’re not too sure what this even entails, you can certainly send them an email and find out! To see a demonstration of OliveR’s cooking skills, hang around after the break.

OliveR is cool and all, but personally we prefer the Wafflemeister3000 which can cook 5 waffles at a time in 3 minutes flat, for a whopping 90Wfl/h!

46 thoughts on “OliveR the Programmable Cooking Robot

    1. Indeed, that one (also known as ‘bimby’) is a finished product (product line actually) instead of a prototype, and some of its versions can also weigh the ingredients being put in.
      Another line of cooking robots in even wider use is the bread-maker: It heats and mixes, controlled by a uC (but not programmable for new recipes etc) and a timer.
      But apart from that, if these guys have fun doing these experiments: good on them!

  1. Now just a add a robot to grab out of fridge and one to check if it is off and one to cut/prepare then one to place in pot and we will be living the dream….. or order pizza

    This looks interesting but I see a lot of human assistance in its operation. Preset sequences for different meals would help just tell the user when to add what but still a lot or prep work is needed cutting ect.

  2. I’m all for hacking but cooking is so dependent on the person’s tastes that I don’t see how you can automatize this task (it’s like wanting to create a “foreplay robot”… oh wait ! )

  3. I know this is off topic a bit, but, I am surprised no one gave kudos for the Doctor Who reference.
    I wonder if Paella would be a possibility with the cooker.

  4. not sure what to say, i love cooking and hacking as much as the next guy and probably more but this thing really is just a stirring machine. next are we going to get this awesome new cooking robot showing us how to boil water which is nothing more than an old school timer.

    now if they had bins for each ingredient and had it dump them in at specific times along with chopping veggies, dumping them, PID heat controller and doing it all by itself then it would be worth it IMHO.

  5. Hi all,

    Our goal for OliveR is not to replace the chef, but to build a device that works with you. We love the idea of robust and low cost hardware combined with flexible software that actually help you in your day to day life.

    It was pretty awesome the first time we dropped raw meat into a pot, watched TV for half an hour, and came back to a finished dish!

  6. what does your robot do, sam?
    it collects data about the surrounding kitchen environment, then discards it and drives into walls

      1. She would cheat on you because you’re not enough of a man. And I doubt being her assistant would improve her perception of your masculinity.

  7. No thanks! I’ll stick with a hot woman that knows how to cook and I wouldn’t have to intervene so much in the cooking process :-)

  8. I’d love to test such a device. Years ago I wrote a white paper about how easy and safe it would be to put MCUs and some automated controls into a gas range — you could prevent release of unspent fuel using a fire detection circuit, you could prevent fire from being left on with a pressure sensor that knows when nothing’s on the cooktop, and you could even program it to do stuff like “bring to medium boil, then simmer 20 minutes” via program.

    I think it can be retrofitted onto existing ranges for under about $80, especially if you source the parts carefully. I also think it could be worked into new range designs at no additional marginal cost per unit.

    Get in touch with me if you’d like an additional tester.

    1. I once had a drunk roommate who would try to cook late at night but would end up passing out half way through, leaving the oven on or stove on high, “all night long”. So while the fire detection circuit would have saved us all, you could incorporate a breathalyzer option to prevent him from even starting. :)

  9. I doubt this is good for much more than soup. I recently rebuilt a old KitchenAid orbital mixer and it is a hell of a lot beefier than this; a 325 watt motor and steel gearbox.

    1. Also why is the stirring element on this so small? I’m pretty sure there is a reason why you stir with a large spoon and not a skewer or chopstick.

      1. Hi Matt,

        We weren’t sure what size stirring element we would need! So far the single stainless rod has surprised us by working fine for everything. The biggest thing we’ve tried is a huge pot of chili – we’ll post that video soon. Follow us on Twitter (@oakrobotics) and we’ll let you know when the video is up.

  10. Boring parts of cooking? Say what!?

    Those are the most pleasant and relaxing parts of cooking, seeing everything come together. After a long day, nothing beats making a nice dinner.

  11. That’s supposed to be jambalaya? Not the fault of the machine though, I see an Emeril recipe is followed, and he is regularly an embarrassment to real Cajuns.

    1) Meat should go in first, to brown and create yummy flavors via the Maillard reaction; which is essential in this dish. Merely boiling the meat is a sin.
    2) Then veggies.
    3) Then an appropriate amount of stock and rice – usually a 2:1 ratio. Jambalaya should not be soupy. Emeril seems to have his jambalaya and gumbo mixed up.
    4) Cover and don’t disturb or stir until it’s done. It’s considered ok if it burns on the bottom, just don’t scrape up and serve that portion.

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