Robot Brutally Chops But Makes Poor Guacamole

Making guacamole by hand normally takes [Estefannie] about 9 minutes. Given her insatiable appetite for the delicious condiment, she spends a lot of time whipping it up in the kitchen at home. Thus, it’s a task ripe for automation, and she set about building a robot to do the job instead.

The robot starts by chopping ingredients like tomato, onion, and avocado with a knife that swivels to cover the entire chopping board surface. Once chopped, a sweeping blade pushes the ingredients into a bowl to form the guacamole.

Initial tests were messy, and ingredients were chopped a little inconsistently. Later work involved reprogramming the machine to chop ingredients separately, rather than all at once, which did improve the quality of the guacamole significantly. However, fundamentally, it wasn’t making good guac, so much as it was making a very chunky salad. It simply couldn’t do all the complicated jobs required to make a smooth, delicious dip.

[Estefannie] elected to instead let it live out its life as a mighty chopper, showing off its prowess by having it attack candy, cake, watermelon, and chocolate, which was pretty fun to watch. It bears noting that if you’re building a robot that swings a blade around, you need to be very careful. If you’re looking for something a bit safer, perhaps a Taco Bot is in your future.

27 thoughts on “Robot Brutally Chops But Makes Poor Guacamole

    1. Indeed. That moment at 05:28 is a great way to loose some fingers, if for example the software malfunctions or some other fault happens. Same @05:50. “Normal” precautions is some screen or barrier that has to be opened and then depowers the machine, but minimum precaution would be some easily acessible (emergency) switch to remove the power from it.

      I stopped watching after that.

      This girl needs some more practice to equal Simone.

    1. Agreed. Of course this is a whole different level then Stuff Made Here does.
      She spent maybe $150 on this project which destroys food, but doesn’t actually help in the preparation of guacamole.
      Stuff Made here would use $20,000 in parts, made on $200,000 worth of equipment. He would also just have to toss the ingredients in the air and his machine would target, slice and catch them all while his wife stands to the side and gives him an unimpressed look.

      In all, she looks like she learned some new things, which I think are the real reason for building devices like this. Well, that and generating an entertaining video for her channel…

        1. I don’t agree with that, it’s inspiring what you can do nowadays with software and maker gear like 3d-printers, cnc’s, etc. Indeed he is showing the outer edge of what is possible, but he is just a guy like you and me and performing the magic that was reserved for multi-million companies not so long ago.

          1. He is quite inspiring no question. But the set of tool and space is definitely not available to everyone.
            Nothing wrong with that. But more amateurish methods are sometimes more accessible. Hard to argue with that…

  1. > builds a mechanical device that requires next to no power to operate
    > straps on a motor and motor control unit
    > troubleshoots it then
    She could have figured out what would have happened at step 0, actually.. just swing the knife by hand in the same motions and see if it would chop. Find out that the answer is “no.” Iterate until you find an approach that works. Build a hand powered device to see if it still works, iterate a couple times until you get the tolerances dialed in, mechanize it.
    I dunno. I guess I’m not the target audience. This just seems like a smrt way to goof off.

  2. I’m trying hard here to be nice but sillier comments I’ve left got moderated/ deleted. This is more “content” than anything of use. Food processors already exist. If making guacamole is so hard maybe just make a triple batch in the morning while you brew your coffee. Basically every time I see a video like this it doesn’t pass the sniff test for what it is claiming to do, and then I realize the point isn’t to educate or anything, the purpose of the video is to make the video and get clicks or whatever.

    1. yeah. my comments are being deleted, as well… this is just a silly project. There’s no educational value in this, there’s no engineering skill demonstrated, this is just a “person makes a goofy thing lol” video.

  3. I would politely request that the editors of Hackaday arrange their articles going forward such that those posts addressing topics concerning AI be separated from posts featuring robots armed with weaponry by at least one post mentioning neither.

    When knife-wielding robots and AI get together, we’re toast.

  4. Personal I found the video very entertaining, I didn’t find it clickbaity. Actually, the those times I showed weakness and click on clickbait, I wish I was this entertained.

    In the end my feeling was that the machine, and the video, are a form of art I would like to see more of. I liked the effort to stain the wood of the machine that might cut your finger off.

    I’m also reminded Oatis Studios’ “Cooking with Bill” series.

    1. Missing the money shot.

      Would have been good if it ended with her bleeding out while holding her hand to the stub with the other. Arterial blood right into the lens for bonus points. CGI would be acceptable, but has to be good.

      See also: Palin on SNL as Julia Child…’Don’t forget to save the liver.’

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