Autonomous cooking system takes the reins in the kitchen
With the smorgasbord of cooking shows on TV you'd be forgiven for thinking everybody loves to get their hands dirty in the kitchen, but the reality is a lot of people these days consider cooking a chore and wouldn't know a paring knife from a boning knife. Julia is an autonomous cooking system from CookingPal that is designed to appeal to just that market.
Looking like a regular food processor, the main unit (called the Smart Kitchen Appliance) is controlled via a companion tablet (called the Smart Kitchen Hub) on which neophyte chefs can browse recipes and receive step-by-step video instructions on their next dish. The system walks users through the food preparation and when to add the various ingredients to either the main unit's three-liter stainless steel bowl, or the steamer tray, simmering basket or heating unit accessories that fit on top of it.
At the appropriate times, the built-in scale, 5,200-rpm motor and heating unit that reaches 130° C (265° F) take care of any chopping, mixing, blending, kneading, weighing, boiling, emulsifying, steaming, grinding, grating and whisking – not to mention cooking. The unit will even clean itself – just add dishwashing liquid and water to the bowl and switch on mixing mode – although the bowl is also dishwasher safe if mixing up some dishwashing liquid doesn't get the job done.
The two units connect wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi, and the Hub unit, which is splash- and dust-proof and comes with a portable stand, can also be controlled via a large jog dial if you don't want to smear food all over the 8.9-inch touchscreen. It will also respond to voice commands if your hands are full. Much of the main unit's functionality can also be handled via a smartphone app for iOS and Android devices.
In addition to guiding users through the cooking process, the Hub also provides nutritional information for the various ingredients and will allow groceries required for an upcoming meal to be ordered for delivery through partnering retailers. It can even suggest recipes based on what you have on hand at home thanks to an inbuilt camera and AI food recognition capability.
Julia is currently on display at CES but won't be available until Q3 2020, when it will retail "under US$1,000."