I have spent the past several years of my life desperately trying to warn humanity that the robots are coming to destroy us all, and everybody laughed at me. But this week—shortly after the T-1000 was seen smooching his miniature horse and donkey—a robot noodle chef has taken over soba-making duties at a Tokyo train station, so who’s laughing now? (The robots. The robots are laughing now.)
Japanese noodle chain Soba Ichi has multiple in-station restaurants along the Tokyo rail line, and on Monday, its newest employee reported for work at Higashi Koganei Station. Ladies and gentlemen, meet... whatever this thing’s name is!
This noodle bot is the brainchild of Connected Robotics, a Tokyo-based firm that focuses on robots meant to perform the work of humans in restaurant kitchens, like Loraine: the Breakfast Machine and the Soft Cream Robot, which the company describes as “So cute, so efficient.” Noodle bot is able to prepare three single-serving colanders of noodles at a time, cooking them in boiling water before moving them to a cold water chamber to tighten their texture. After the cooling and draining process, a human is required to assemble to final dish, pouring broth over the noodles and adding toppings.
A “casual soba connoisseur” from Japan’s Sora News 24 found the robot-cooked soba to be quite excellent, saying that for the low price of 340 yen ($3.30 American), the dish “was everything [one] could hope for in noodle nourishment.” Noodle bot is currently working as an unpaid intern, with its stint at Soba Ichi ending on April 15.