Drinks

This Robot Making Matcha Is a One-Minute Horror Film

March 13, 2018

I mean, it’s only a matter of time before robots overtake us. And we’re approaching the singularity at neck-breaking speeds. Just last week a robot was hired to flip burgers and then it was fired for being too good at its job! If that’s not a narrative arc dripping with humanity, then I don’t know what is.

We’ve invited robots to take care of so many of our daily tasks, it only makes sense that we invite them into the kitchen, too, right? Uhhh, I don’t know. Robots doing human tasks actually kind of scares me. Call me old-fashioned, call me fearful, call me stuck in the past. Whatever, I’ll shrug my shoulders. The robot takeover is not something I will ever warm up to. But every once in a while, a robot comes along that reminds us just how special we humans are, how perfectly inimitable our actions can be. This matcha-making robot is one such example.

The video first appeared on Twitter and stars a three-pronged machine making a cup of matcha tea. Its movements are a bit clunky and stop-and-go, but it’s able to fill a bowl with water and matcha powder. Then, the bamboo whisk lowers itself into the bowl of water and powder. What happens next you should see for yourself:

Wow, mixed enough for ya? The whisk shakes so vigorously that the whole machine shoots off the Richter scale—it’s a vibration of seismic proportions. When I first watched this video, I grabbed my seat to make sure I, too, wasn’t violently convulsing. After the whisk goes to town, it kind of just slowly retracts from the bowl as if expecting some words of praise or a conciliatory gold star. The camera zooms on the freshly rattled bowl of matcha. To no one’s surprise, it looks whisked. Like beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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In theory, the machine does its job. It produces a cup of ready-to-drink matcha from raw ingredients. But it’s the process that has me tripped up. I’d much rather put in the extra time to whisk my own matcha than have some machine aggressively vibrate in front of me. But maybe that’s just me.

The future of this mysterious machine has yet to be specified. Some tweets hinted that this is a prototype and its makers are collecting critiques and working on a redesign. Hopefully the second version is a bit chiller.

Where do you stand on robots in the kitchen? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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