Robot Chef

Dexter, the pancake-making robot

04:03 PM PT, Aug 18 2009


We've all had a Sunday morning (or three) when whipping up breakfast seemed beyond the realm of possibility. But what if there were a robot that could do that for you? Enter Dexter, also known as the Motoman Dual Arm SDA. Though developed for the automotive industry (he's been used for years at GM and Toyota), Dexter's users have added on devices that soup him up to do all sorts of wacky tasks. (The new Brazilian Coca-Cola campaign has an animated version of Dexter swinging gnomes and building Lego castles.)

In order to become a flapjack flipper, Dexter needed a fourth torque sensor, which fits between the end of the arm and a spatula, which is an electromechanical means of touch. He also needed a haptic device, in which the robot mimics the owner's motion, then memorizes and repeats it.

According to Chief Robot Geek at Motoman, Erik Nieves, Dexter at his most stripped down runs about $140,000. For the bells, whistles and breakfasts, expect to spend about $200,000.

-- Krista Simmons

Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP / Getty Images

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