Burritob0t: At long last, relief from the back-breaking labor of burrito-making
Why didn't anyone think of this before? Oh, right.
"We are in uncharted culinary territory. For now, [Burritob0t's burritos are] somewhere on the spectrum between Taco Bell and SoCal taco truck."
-- Burritob0t inventor Marko Manriquez
The history of human invention is littered with inventions so intuitive and invaluable as to make the onlooker gasp and say, "It's a miracle! Why didn't anyone think of that before?"
And then there's the burrito-making robot.
I realize how easy it is to make fun of this idea. (Step right up, ladies and germs, for burritos whose "ingredients need to have a uniform, paste-like consistency"!) Still, I don't see why that should stop us from making fun of it. Not when we have before us at last an answer for the back-breaking labor of burrito-making. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
NYU Student Creates Burrito-Making Robot
June 20, 2012 6:44am | By Andrea Swalec, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer
MANHATTAN — Hungry for the future?
A graduate student at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts has built a burrito-building robot called "Burritob0t" that uses large syringes to inject beans, salsa, guacamole, and other ingredents onto tortillas, layer by layer.
"The only thing I enjoy more than making cool stuff is making a good burrito," interaction designer and Brooklyn resident Marko Manriquez said in a video about his robot. "The burrito lends itself perfectly as a hybrid of both cuisine and technology."
Burritob0t assembles the Tex-Mex favorite using 3D printing techniques, turning meticulously written computer code into a meal, Manriquez's website for the project explained.
The drawback of the technique is that ingredients need to have a uniform, paste-like consistency, making Burritob0t's culinary creations more food-for-thought than gourmet treat.
"We are in uncharted culinary territory," Manriquez admitted on the website for the robot. "For now, [Burritob0t's burritos are] somewhere on the spectrum between Taco Bell and SoCal taco truck."
Manriquez is also working on a web and mobile application that will let burrito-lovers customize the amounts of mild and hot salsas, crema, pico de galla and guacamole they want.
More testing of Burritob0t — which isn't available to the public yet — will test the limits of food science, Manriquez said in the video.
"There's no reason we can't have our burritos downloaded, printed and into our bellies," he said. "We have the technology."
A Kickstarter campaign is in the works to raise funds to publicly demonstrate Burritob0t and improve the taste of its burritos, Manriquez said on the site, but he admitted it's tough for a robot to match a real chef.
"Nothing replaces the human touch — apologies to my robot friends — of simple, unprocessed food, a few spices and time."
By the way, even more amazingly (if that's possible), the Burritob0t website has a page that allows you to "DONATE TO BBOT’S DEVELOPMENT," via Paypal or credit card. Gosh, what exciting times we live in! (And people say that graduate school is just a waste of time!)