A robot created by the Spanish firms Mimcook and br5 cooks a paella at a trade show in Malaga. Photograph: Daniel Luque/EPA

Robot’s Mastery of Paella Cooking Leaves Some in Spain Aghast at Sacrilege

First of all, paella is the pan, not the food you cook in it. And that’s just the first surprise from an article we found at theguardian.com. The biggest surprise is the fact that the article is about a robot that cooks Spanish food in a very professional way. A 41-year-old industrial engineer who named his company after the robot from the 1986 film Short Circuit, says all the machine needs is a good recipe and the right ingredients.

Since it was unveiled at a hospitality industry fair last month, the world’s first robotic paellero has been causing a bit of a stir. Set the program, load the sofrito, rice, stock, and seafood, leave it alone and the robotic arm, which is hooked up to a computerized stove, will do the rest.

The robot, a joint project between the young company br5 (Be a Robot 5) and the paella stove manufacturer Mimcook has so far attracted interest from hotel and restaurant chains, as well as a Japanese company.

“It’s a multifunction robot: right now it cooks rice because it’s hooked up to a Mimcook, but you could hook it up to a fryer so it fries potatoes, or you could attach a grill so it can cook burgers, or an oven so it can cook pizza or croissants,” Enrique Lillo said.

“At the end of the day, it’s an assistant. I like to say it’s a bit like the orange-juicing machines where you put oranges in the top and get juice out of the bottom. That’s a robot too – people just don’t realize it – and so is a coffee-vending machine. No one looks at those and goes: ‘Crikey! It’s stealing jobs from people!’ No. It’s elevating humanity.”

Anyone that has stirred rice and then got distracted knows what a pain that can be. Perhaps the paellero is just what we’ve been waiting for. It might make things a little tight in domestic kitchens but surely it can be reduced in size with a little more time.

“It doesn’t make sense for us to be stirring rice – especially because you’ll be looking at WhatsApp while you’re doing it and it’ll burn. That won’t happen with a robot.”

Read more at theguardian.com