What to Read Next

Turing Test and Our Favorite Food Robots

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
Yahoo Food
June 11, 2014

Turing Test and Our Favorite Food Robots

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
Yahoo Food
June 11, 2014

All this Turing Test chatter about a computer maybe finally tricking some humans into thinking IT was human got us thinking about robots. Who doesn’t love a good one?

They’ve sure done some good things (and some weird things) in the world of food. To wit:

The pancake bot.

Still credit: YouTube

What’s more compelling than the notion of stretching awake with a lion-esque yawn, having one robot make the coffee, and seeing another making pancakes into seahorses? Not a lot.

The robot waiter.

Photo credit: Nicolas Asfour, AFP

Ideal for friends who complain about the service no matter how fancy the establishment and how attentive the server. A robot waiter changes the whole game; now you can only blame the nerd who made the bot. Also, this dude dates back (like all good things do) to the ’80s.

The automat bot.

Photo credit: NYPL, Flickr

The original American robot food thing. Automats coat the impersonal bot experience in (if we may steal a phrase) “a thick glaze of classy" and are retro-chic to boot, dating right on back to 1902.

The vineyard-tending robot. 

Photo credit: Youtube, AFP

Because many of us are farmers in our minds, but in reality we really don’t want to deal with getting dirty, “pruning and desuckering” vines in a vineyard. Thanks, robot. 

The bartender robot. 

Photo credit: Makr Shakr

For those days when you really, really don’t want to talk about your feelings or politics with the barkeep. Also: It’s called Makr Shakr. I mean come on. 

The possessed soda machine robot.

Photo credit: Jon Manning. Vice.com

Who doesn’t harbor a nostalgic fondness for the first time she met a soda machine robot? Its punchy buttons are big, and bright, and it’s so satisfying to whale on one and hear the crash-thunk-crash of the can tumbling through the mechanized interior.

Lest you call this more “technology” than “a robot,” watch out, because a Seattle soda-bot that stocks itself and is definitely haunted is coming for you, packing like 30 cans of Grape Fanta.