What if CNC machines could cook?

I’m not sure what took me down this odd path, other than that I recently made up a batch of Texas Chili Fudge and a batch of Peppermint Bark for a Christmas Eve Party.  I have been dimly aware of some CNC cake decorating projects, and I confess to a fascination with cocktail robotics, but there is an odd little niche that involves using CNC to cook.  Since the Holiday Season can be very food oriented for some, why not take a look at a couple of these slick design concepts from Marcelo Coelho’s project Cornucopia:


The Digital Chocolatier dispenses ingredients into a thermoelectrically heated mixing cup to produce a custom confection…

The Virtuoso Mixer is all about automatically assembling your ingredients…

I like this last machine particularly.  Professional chefs use a technique called mise en place, which means to gather, measure, and chop your ingredients before you start cooking.  That business on the cooking shows where every ingredient is in a little dish waiting to be dumped in at the right moment is not just for the cameras, it’s how things are done by the pros.  I think of the Virtuoso Mixer as being sort of an automated spice rack that will assemble the spices for you dish on demand.

We’ve seen the ultimate evolution of converting what had been a purely analog industry, music and video, to what is today primarily a digital industry.  Huge changes and in many cases wonderful results.  Part of what the current digital manufacturing / desktop prototyping movement is accomplishing is a similar transformation that will ultimately touch a lot of industries.  There’s no reason why cooking won’t be one of them, or bar tending too, if you follow my appreciation of Bar Bots.


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