Sophie the robot whips up oodles of Singapore noodles

This picture taken on July 26, 2019 shows Sophie the robotic chef preparing to make laksa, a local dish of rice noodles served in a curry sauce, in Singapore. — AFP pic
This picture taken on July 26, 2019 shows Sophie the robotic chef preparing to make laksa, a local dish of rice noodles served in a curry sauce, in Singapore. — AFP pic

SINGAPORE, July 30 — A Singaporean engineering company has built a robot that can serve up a piping hot bowl of laksa, one of the city-state’s most well-known dishes, in just 45 seconds.

The electric sous-chef, dubbed Sophie by its creators, can blanch noodles, add pre-cooked prawns and ladle spicy coconut soup — all with minimum spillage, at the rate of around 80 bowls an hour.

“It’s excellent, I would say there’s no difference between the one created by the robot and human,” said Paul Yong, a guest at Friday’s launch event catered by Orange Clove, which developed the machine with a local engineering company.

A robotic chef named Sophie prepares a bowl of laksa, a local dish of rice noodle in curry sauce during a demonstration in Singapore July 26, 2019. — AFP pic
A robotic chef named Sophie prepares a bowl of laksa, a local dish of rice noodle in curry sauce during a demonstration in Singapore July 26, 2019. — AFP pic

The robot will let chefs cut down on repetitive tasks and focus on understanding customers’ needs, said Tan Tun Lim, the assistant sales director for Orange Clove.

Sophie will cut the staffing of the laksa station from two chefs to one, whose main role will be to replenish the ingredients and keep the station clean.

Tan said the company chose to make a robot that served laksa as it was one of their most popular live station dishes, but they are working on adapting the design to serve a local stir fried dish and prawn noodle soup.

Another local firm earlier this month said it will roll out 300 robot cleaners by March next year to help clean hotels, shopping malls and government buildings, while drones are being trialled to inspect building facades for defects, currently a laborious manual process. — AFP

This picture taken on July 26, 2019 shows a person holding a bowl of laksa, a local dish of rice noodles served in a curry sauce, after it was prepared by Sophie the robotic chef in Singapore. — AFP pic
This picture taken on July 26, 2019 shows a person holding a bowl of laksa, a local dish of rice noodles served in a curry sauce, after it was prepared by Sophie the robotic chef in Singapore. — AFP pic

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