In yet another sign that the restaurant business in Asia is becoming increasingly automated, a Chinese restaurateur is enjoying booming success after having created an army of robots that can ‘hand' slice noodles.
Using the motion of a windshield wiper, the Chef Cui shaves noodles from a block of dough in perfect strips, sparing many a Chinese chef the laborious, repetitive and often dreaded task of slicing noodles by hand.
While restaurateur Cui Runguan in Beijing first created the prototype in 2006, since going into production and launching the first commercial robo-chefs in March, creator Cui Runguan has sold 3,000 robots, according to a video report by Zoomin.TV in the UK.
The appeal? At about $2,000 USD, the Chef Cui is a bargain deal, say restaurateurs interviewed in the video: not only does a human chef cost about $4,700 USD a year, the robot chef doesn't call in sick or get tired.
The Chef Cui is the latest robo-chef to hit the Asian restaurant scene, which is light years ahead of the West in automated dining.
Fast food restaurant Wishdoing in Shanghai, became the first in the country to hire two robo-chefs to do all the cooking and washing up. Automated chefs can whip up dishes like Kung Pao Chicken or Mapo Tofu, bean curd in a chili sauce, in three minutes flat.
Motion-sensored robot waiters also cycle around the Dalu Robot restaurant in the eastern province of Shandong, China, while Japanese eatery FuA-Men -- short for Fully-Automated raMen -- uses robot chefs to make bowls of ramen.