They installed a robotic arm in a US military base capable of cooking steaks and preparing salads in 15 minutes

A United States Air Force military base located in northern California was the first to debut a kitchen “hygienic robotic arm” which is designed to reduce food waste and the risk of infectious disease transmission.

According to Stars and Stripes, the newspaper of the Department of Defense of the North American country, Alfred, the name of this robot, was developed by the Boston-based startup Dexai Robotics and is part of a proof of concept of the Logistics Agency of Defense for the system.

“Will Alfred be able to deliver the food waste reduction, sanitation improvements, and endowment benefits as projected?” asked Major Hewko Tyler, operations officer for the 60th Force Support Squadron. “We are excited to find out.”

Photos show the robot filling bowls with ingredients from a salad bar in the facility’s kitchen as various base leaders watch and record the event on their smartphones.

The robot’s friendly hand could allow kitchen staff to focus on other tasks, like running the grills or concentrating on orders from the flight kitchen, said the Cafeteria Facilities Manager, Technical Sgt. Eddie Hurtado said.

“They drag us in so many different directions that anywhere we can free up some time is a benefit to us,” Hurtado said.

Using a robotic arm adapted to kitchen cleaning standards, the system has specialized computer vision and other programming to recognizing ingredients, picking up and collecting items using separate utensils, and putting portions in a container. This is how, a site for government funding of small business innovation research, describes it.

It takes eight seconds for each ingredient and “minutes” for a full order. Robot teams could collaborate for faster preparation. The system tracks each order so you can provide an alert when inventory is running low or show which ingredients are most popular, says the developer company.

The robot is called Alfred and it is capable of preparing food and receiving voice commands to make the experience totally “contactless”.

The first stage of the project it cost 99 thousand dollars and was focused on developing a “contactless” system, which uses voice and gesture input so that service members could order from an automated salad bar or hot food line. without using a touch screen.

Phase one also included testing the system in an actual military cafeteria, and will culminate on April 26 of next year. Phase two is expected to involve further research and testing in a real-world environment, while a third phase will focus on commercializing the system.

Alfred’s designers were also expected to develop plans for the robot to take over other kitchen tasks. how to operate grills, fryers, and other equipment, or prepare raw ingredients. The robot can fry, sauté, stir, stew, bake, roast, chop, slice, cut, mix, mix and more.

“Whatever the DLA and Air Force find the most attractive feature, maybe it’s speed, safety or sanitation, the Dexai team can focus on that as part of their product development.” said Travis Air Force Base, Alfred’s home.

If the trial is successful there, Alfred could move elsewhere under a proposal to put systems in up to 10 different dining rooms, the base said.


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