Cooki robotic chef whips up meals at the push of a button

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The prototype Cooki robotic chef at CES (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

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Some claim that cooking is becoming a lost art, with many in Gen Y relying on frozen pre-packaged meals or eating out rather than learning the required skills from their parents. The Cooki from Sereneti Kitchen might not do anything to reverse this trend, but it could at least enable the cooking-impaired to enjoy a meal made from fresh ingredients. On display at CES in prototype form, this ambitious culinary contraption uses a robotic arm to whip up meals from pre-portioned ingredients.

Cooki is a self-contained unit that comprises a small robotic arm positioned above a cooking pot that sits atop an induction cooktop. After selecting your desired recipe from the companion app on an Android or iOS device, you're prompted to load the relevant trays of fresh, ready-to-cook, pre-portioned ingredients into the side of the device.

After things are set in motion, again via your mobile device, the ingredients are added individually to the pot at the appropriate time and temperature, with the robotic arm and its spatula attachment take care of the stirring by mimicking human arm motions. A notification is then sent to your mobile device when the dish is ready. When it comes time for cleaning up, the robotic arm and cooking pot, which are both washable, can be detached from the unit.

Aside from encouraging healthy eating, the team behind Cooki say the device would also help cut food waste by supplying the specific amount of ingredients required for each meal. These would be delivered in meal lots that the company plans to sell for around US$4 to $5 each.

The prototype on display at CES is made from aluminum, but the team plans to fashion the production model from injection-molded plastic, with the possibility of a model with a brushed stainless-steel finish at a later date. That is, if the crowdfunding campaign launched to coincide with the trade show is successful.

The campaign on Indiegogo is aiming to raise $100,000 to refine the prototypes, with production models available from the $499 pledge level and up. If all goes well, the team hopes to deliver the first units to backers by December 2015, followed by a full commercial launch in 2016.

The team's video pitch can be viewed below.

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