Behold: China's robot noodle army!
Coming soon to a restaurant near you?
Former chef Cui Runguan has created an army of noodle-slicing robots that he hopes will staff restaurants across China.
The 'Chef Cui' appears to be modelled on the upper torso of 1960s Japanese TV robot hero Ultraman, complete with rather sinister yellow flashing eyes.
Its left hand holds the ball of noodle dough while the right sweeps back and forth in a windscreen wiper-like motion, slicing off perfectly sized strips for the pot, according to a Zoomin.tv report.
Cui – the inventor, not the robot – apparently came up with the idea in 2006 while working at his Beijing restaurant and has since refined the idea three times before developing the current model.
“As there are more job opportunities the young people don’t want to work as a chef to slice noodles because the job is very exhausting,” he told the site.
“It’s a trend that robots will replace men in factories. It’s certainly going to happen in sliced noodle restaurants.”
Chef Cui has been in production since March and looks to be a hit with the local chefs, with around 3,000 sold so far.
“The robot chef can slice noodles better than human chefs,” said noodle shop owner Liu Maohu.
“It costs more than 30,000 yuan to hure a chef for a year, but the robot costs me just 10,000 yuan.”
Who says China can’t be a tech innovator? ®
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