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Your location: Home > Related Articles > More precise! Engineers create a software controlled robot laser

More precise! Engineers create a software controlled robot laser

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:26

Engineers at Columbia University have invented a software controlled robot laser that can cook food with unparalleled precision, retain more moisture, and create a new, customized way of cooking delicious food.

Under the guidance of mechanical engineering professor Hod Lipson, his innovative machine laboratory's Digital Food team has established a fully autonomous digital personal chef. Lipson's team has been developing 3D printed food since 2007.

"We have noticed that although printers can produce raw materials with millimeter precision, there is no heating method that can achieve the same resolution," said Dr. Jonathan Blutinger from Lipson Laboratories, who led the project. "Cooking is crucial for the development of nutrition, flavor, and texture in many foods, and we would like to know if it is possible to develop a method that precisely controls these characteristics using lasers."

In a new study published on September 1, 2021 in npj Science of Food, the team explored various cooking methods by projecting blue light (445 nanometers) and infrared light (980 nanometers and 10.6 microns) onto chicken as a model food system. They printed chicken samples (3 millimeters thick, 1-2 inches in area) as test benches and evaluated a range of parameters, including cooking depth, color rendering, moisture retention, and differences in taste between laser and stove cooked meat.

They found that laser cooked meat had a 50% reduction in shrinkage, maintained twice its moisture content, and displayed a similar flavor to traditional cooked meat. "In fact, our two blind participants prefer laser cooked meat over traditional cooked meat, which demonstrates the potential of this emerging technology."

Although Lipson and Blutinger are excited about the potential of this new technology with relatively low levels of hardware and software component technology, they point out that there is currently no sustainable ecosystem to support it.

"We don't yet have a so-called 'food CAD', a Photoshop for a certain food. We need a high-level software that allows non programmers or software developers to design the food they want. Then we need a place where people can share digital recipes, just like we share music."

However, Blutinger said, "Food is something we interact with and personalize every day - it seems natural to inject software into cooking to make food preparation more customizable."