Automated Pancake Making For Devotees Of Fluffy Pancakes

We have a weakness for automated pancake machines here at Hackaday, but in terms of complete pancake machines rather than CNC batter printers we’re surprised to see more from the rest of the world than we do from the USA. Perhaps this has something to do with differences in opinion on what constitutes a pancake, whether the moniker should be applied to a large and thin disk of cooked batter, or to a smaller, thicker, and fluffier variety. For Europeans only the former will do, while for Americans anything but the latter is simply crêpe. To restore American honour in the world of automated pancakes then, a team of students from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA, have built a pancake vending machine for fluffy American-style pancakes as part of their coursework.

Sadly for the team the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to their lab work and stopped them making a fully functional vending machine, but the important part of robotic pancake making is something they’ve completely nailed. In the video below the break we see them testing various batter mixes before developing their mixer and batter delivery system, and finally a robotic flipper that cooks the pancakes on a griddle and delivers them to a plate.  It also has the unexpected benefit of stacking pancakes.

We’re sure that without the pandemic they would have made a fully-functional vending machine for lucky Georgia students to sate their appetites upon. Meanwhile for pancake-crazy readers, here are complete pancake making machines from South Africa, and from France.

15 thoughts on “Automated Pancake Making For Devotees Of Fluffy Pancakes

  1. I was recently at a hotel that had a machine that cranked out pancakes. This has gone beyond the hacker stage. The machine cranked out two when you pressed the button and cooked both sides at once, it was clever.

    1. I think I’ve seen the same machine myself. This one used two heated conveyor belts and the pancakes were fairly small, about the size of a coffee cup lid.

      1. That looks very similar but the machine at the hotel had clear sides so you could watch the entire process if you wanted to. It was not complicated and it was fun to watch for a few cycles. The pancakes were about the size of the ones in the picture.

  2. Krusteaz Pancake Mix.
    I always pronounced Krusteaz as “crusty as”

    It sounds like the college is preparing their engineering students for the business world by teaching them jargon such as,
    agile, scrum, “iterative things capable”

    It could use computer vision to “see” if the pancake is actually done.

    1. I want quantum force probes to detect the optimum amino acid de-protonation in the Maillard reaction….. oh right… controlled with a neural net enabled expert system in the cloud and a dev-ops swat team on standby to jerry rig the code on the fly if it starts to cook wrong.

    2. massive over-engineering, why use a machine vision system when a timer will do? These are machine-made pancakes so they will come out the same every time, you just need to calibrate the cooking times and away you go.

      Even if use a machine vision system you will need to calibrate based on batter thickness and griddle temp, so you have to calibrate anyway, so there is really no advantage to machine vision over a timer.

    1. I am sincerely hoping these questions are rhetorical and “tongue in cheek” humor in nature… if not, may I kindly suggest you go make your own pancakes as this machine is not made for finicky eaters like you.

  3. Ahh Emma my son is one of those kids. All those things mentioned above were addressed in the final product they intended. It was thought that after the min requirements were met they would continue to improve the machine however, covid had other plans. It was mentioned that pancake topping could be added as well as flavored batter as options. They had very big dreams with this machine and did well given the time they had.

  4. I can’t find a reference to it now, but, back before the internet existed, I recall watching a story on a fully-automatic pancake machine that was built on the East Coast of Canada that could deliver 7,000 pancakes per hour. It was based on a rotating, circular griddle that was probably six feet across. IIRC, pancake batter was deposited in two rows on an inner track, then, as the pancakes came back to the origin, flipped onto the outer track, finally being flipped onto a waiting tray when fully cooked.

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