As the New Year approaches, Jewishly speaking, we reflect on our actions over the past twelve months. While this is a personal endeavor, robotically speaking I would like to share with you my favorite robot story that I failed to cover. First a little background. My daughter and wife love watching cooking competitions on TV, from Chopped to Iron Chef. However, the Cooking Channel has failed to cover the ultimate gastronomical challenge – man vs. machine.
In China, the Robot beat out the hourly worker. Chinese people consumer more noodles than probably the entire world combined. However, to make fresh noodles is cumbersome and consumers a lot of hours? As labor costs continue to rise in China, we are seeing a shift from human hands to metal nuts and bolts from FoxConn to Cui Runguan’s Noodle shop. Mr. Runguan was sick of paying humans for a job that he thought a machine could better accomplish, hence the creation of Chef Cui the noodle-slicing robot. Chef Cui (and models like it) costs $2,000 which is significantly less than the $4,700 of an annual Chinese worker. Besides the economic benefits Chef Cui’s output is perfectly consistent and uniform vs. the irregularities of hand sliced noodles.
While Runguan first introduced his robo-chef in late 2011, the demand this year has gone viral with 3,000 pre-orders before mass production. This innovation is indicative of what’s to come as we look forward to the coming year. Soon, very soon, the automat will be back but this time it will be robots slicing the meats.
Shana Tova – May You Be Blessed for a Healthy, Happy, Sweet New Year!