A Singaporean engineering company has built a robot that can serve up a piping hot bowl of laksa, one of the city-state's most well-known dishes, in just 45 seconds.
The electric sous-chef, dubbed Sophie by its creators, can blanch noodles, add pre-cooked prawns and ladle spicy coconut soup -- all with minimum spillage, at the rate of around 80 bowls an hour.
"It's excellent, I would say there's no difference between the one created by the robot and human," said Paul Yong, a guest at Friday's launch event catered by Orange Clove, which developed the machine with a local engineering company.
The robot will let chefs cut down on repetitive tasks and focus on understanding customers' needs, said Tan Tun Lim, the assistant sales director for Orange Clove.
Sophie will cut the staffing of the laksa station from two chefs to one, whose main role will be to replenish the ingredients and keep the station clean.
Tan said the company chose to make a robot that served laksa as it was one of their most popular live station dishes, but they are working on adapting the design to serve a local stir fried dish and prawn noodle soup.
Another local firm earlier this month said it will roll out 300 robot cleaners by March next year to help clean hotels, shopping malls and government buildings, while drones are being trialled to inspect building facades for defects, currently a laborious manual process.