An idea hatched in 2006 by Cui Runquan, a Beijing chef, has spawned a new legion of robots to perform the mundane task of making noodles in restaurants -- an assembly-line repetitive activity that is tiring for human workers. The chef says his robots are cheaper for restaurant owners.
A roomful of the Chef Cui noodle-slicing robots invented by Cui Runquan to perform the arduous and repetitive task of slicing noodles in restaurants. The robots use movements similar to a windshield wiper to slice noodles rapidly with one hand from dough held in the other. (Source: Zoominuk)
Inspired by his experience at his own restaurant, Runquan invented the first version of the robots in 2007. Soon after that, he began the task of designing and producing them. The latest version of the machines -- dubbed the Chef Cui robots -- is the fourth version and has been in mass production since March. Each robot costs about $2,000, while one worker doing the same job would cost a restaurant owner about $4,700 a year, according to CNet.
The robots have multicolored torsos and heads and eyes that flash yellow lights. They use movements similar to a windshield wiper to shave noodles with one hand from dough held with the other. The noodles go into a pot of boiling water, and voila -- a new batch of Chinese noodles is ready.
"As there are more and more job opportunities, the young people don't want to work as a chef to slice noodles, because the job is very exhausting," Runquan says in the video that appears below. "It is the trend that robots will replace men in factories. It is certainly going to happen in sliced-noodle restaurants."
I saw an article last year that predicted that McDonalds will have unattended robotic resteraunts within a decade. Eventually robots and computers, which are already impacting employment, will be doing a lot more jobs than they do now. Those jobs will be gone forever. What will we do when our workforce becomes so large relative to the jobs available, that there is constant double digit unemployment?
Good point, Cadman-LT. I've always thought robots were machines that exhibit human qualities. Welders and other factory machines are often called robots partly (I think) because their movements replicate human tasks.
So basically, when I think robot, I think of a human-looking machine. I don't think about robotic welders and whatever, I just picture a human-looking machine. There are a lot of machines that are not called robots, but when you make a machine look human, then they call it a robot. See what I mean?
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