With robots being introduced into just about every industry imaginable, it’s only a logical next step that robots would eventually make their debut in the kitchen, helping to streamline food preparation.

Scientists from Carnegie Mellon and Sony are joining forces to improve food preparation with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, and, eventually, actual cooking and delivery services.

"The technology necessary for a robot to handle the complex and varied task of food preparation and delivery could be applied to a broader set of skills and industries," Sony wrote. "Applications could include those where machines must handle fragile and irregularly shaped materials and carry out complex household and small business tasks."

The team envisions that once programmed to handle special dietary restrictions and allergies, the robots will be capable of delivering food both to the home and office and also being able to set the table while simultaneously fixing meals.

"Making and serving food is an immense challenge for automation, so we're excited about the types of machines and software that might emerge as we jointly explore a variety of approaches and solutions," said Andrew Moore, dean of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science. "Both Sony and CMU aim high, so we are confident this research will produce technologies that impact robotics across a broad number of applications.”

“This project has the potential to make the vast possibilities of AI and robotics more familiar and accessible to the general public," said Hiroaki Kitano, Sony engineer and leader of the team of robotics engineers and machine learning experts from Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science in Pittsburgh. "Additionally, it could also assist those for whom daily tasks, such as food preparation, are challenging. I am very excited to be working with the talented scientists at CMU to make this vision a reality."

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com