Bistrobot: Make Me A Sandwich

Reading this article in the San Francisco Chronicle sounds very familiar if you’ve owned a hand-built robot of any kind. “Bistrobot” is a pretty sweet sandwich-making robot. It toasts bread on the fly and applies peanut butter, jelly, honey, apple butter, and/or a few other gloopy dispensable delicacies at the behest of human customers. Watch the video below and we guarantee that you’ll want to toss a couple bucks into it, even if you don’t like toasted PB&J sandwiches.

The video makes everything look peachy, like a 3D printer on a good day. Check out the jelly nozzle zig-zagging across the half-sandwich — it’s very familiar. Indeed the whole machine seems like something we could build. But as we all know, continuous duty has a way of finding the flaws in our designs. The Chronicle article is part triumph, and part tale of woe, with the builder being called in to repair the Bistrobot for the “zillionth” time.

Anyway, kudos to Bistrobot’s [Hamid Sani] for putting a crazy contraption like this out there, and kudos to the shop owner who’s dedicating precious store space to a work-in-progress, Rube Goldberg machine. We hope that they get enough extra foot traffic to justify it, because this thing is simply cool and we want to see one in our neighborhood.

It’s actually a little bit surprising, what with the myriad pancake-making machines that we’ve seen (here, here, or here just to name the most recent three) that we don’t have bots making us other tasty snacks. Perhaps the time has come? Cue the “sudo make me a sandwich” jokes.

Thanks [Nils] for the tip!

16 thoughts on “Bistrobot: Make Me A Sandwich

    1. Sounds like the Bistrobot is higher maintenance than most women. Also less versatile. For example, Bistrobot will never give you a PBJ, without the P.

      Seriously, even if it can be made reliable, I bet it’s a lot like my Wagner Power Roller. Sure was novel using it the first time. But there wasn’t a second, because the cleaning required after each use exceeds any time/effort saved by using it to paint a few rooms.

      It pays off only with volume. Lots of painting, or lots of sandwiches. But you know what’s missing from articles like these? What the health inspectors think. Until recently they were still fining and shutting down restaurants for sous-vide, and that’s been pretty well established for a while. How can an inspector, faced with a unique foodbot, possibly evaluate it fairly? I wonder if they might dictate maintenance/modifications, or charge fines/bribes, to the point where it can’t be worth it.

  1. Woah, woah, woah! WTF?

    Peanut butter on only ONE side of the sandwich? Jelly goes between the peanut butter layers.

    Any toasting AFTER deploying the bread? Heathens.

    1. > Any toasting AFTER deploying the bread? Heathens.

      Yeah toasting one got me. It was so sickening I had to stop watching. It also needs to toast the other side of the bread as well. They should have put each slice in a little wire holder so each side can be toasted before the peanut butter is put on.

      Also the PB:J ratios are all wrong. There’s WAY too much peanut butter on that “sandwich”.

  2. People are discussing about the ratio of PB/J but do you even consider that a sandwich ? Is it really what you call a sandwich in USA ? Just a slice of bread and a some sugary paste on it ?

    Here is how you make a good sandwich :
    – Take a baguette, open it in half
    – Put butter on one side
    – Add ham
    – (Optional : add pickles, lettuce or cheese)

    Congrats, you just made a healthy snack called “un Parisien”, which is technically a sandwich (technically, a sandwich is composed of at least two slice of bread).

    Plus, this thing in the video looks really disgusting.

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