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A kitchen robot is a robotic device designed to provide assistance with common kitchen tasks. These robots can handle work ranging from food preparation to dishwashing and general cleanup. The most common kitchen robot designs are roughly anthropomorphic, but models with specialized appendages are feasible. Such robots are intended to reduce the drudgery of daily living and are also meant to serve as assistants to men and women who are unable by reason of age or infirmity to manage routine kitchen tasks without assistance.
One of the most common tasks that kitchen robots are designed to perform is the washing of dirty dishes. Work as a dishwasher in a kitchen environment requires a fairly sophisticated set of skills, and a successful robot must be able to grasp and clean dishes, store them appropriately, and avoid breaking them while making sure that the dishes are thoroughly cleaned. Some models are also designed to make use of dishwashers.
More advanced kitchen robot designs focus on the preparation and serving of food. This requires an entirely different set of skills. Robots designed to serve as mechanical chefs need to be able to evaluate different food products to ensure freshness and quality, make appropriate selections from a pantry of ingredients, and perform a large number of different physical tasks as part of the cooking process. The use of processed and uniform foodstuffs makes the task of a robot chef simpler but not simple.
Typical modern kitchens include many electronic devices that might technically qualify as robots. Advanced coffee makers, food processors, ovens, and dishwashers all include many electronic timing and control features and may be partially or wholly automated. A true kitchen robot is capable of performing much more sophisticated operations and can make use of these lesser robotic devices in an appropriate fashion.
Convenience is one selling point of kitchen robots. Such devices are perfect for men and women who have a good deal of disposable income but very little free time. A kitchen robot could potentially take over many common kitchen tasks, allowing its owner to focus on other matters or to cook only on those occasions when he or she has the time to enjoy cooking.
Kitchen robots have more utilitarian applications as well. The population of many Western nations is aging, often quite rapidly. Older individuals may require some assistance with daily tasks. A robot could potentially provide that assistance to men and women who are not able to perform repetitive kitchen tasks without difficulty or discomfort.