Cooking, like virtually every skill or talent, is an art that's perfected through lots of trial and error. What if you could save on ingredients and money by using a simulator to whip up the perfect meal before actually cooking? If that sounds good, this booby trap-looking device might be for you.
Developed by researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, this simulator isn't just another version of Cooking Mama. It has a frying pan and spatula for cooking digitally projected food, both of which allow you to feel the weight and temperature of ingredients.
The training simulator's goal is to let cooks feel and see how different changes can affect each ingredient. Obvious example: if you cook a piece of meat for 10 minutes it will look and feel different from meat that's been cooked for five. Consequently, the simulator will try to emulate those changes.
As DigInfo's Don Kennedy and R. Osuga report:
"This technology combines a rigid-body physics engine library and a heat conduction simulator. The heat conduction state changes in line with the amount of physical contact, and the simulation is achieved by combining them."
"This system also calculates how moisture evaporates or flows as the temperature rises. It shows how protein changes color from red to brown, or how vegetables turn dark, by synthesizing textures."
The researchers hope to turn the contraption into something more useful in the home, but I'm not so sure it will find much success there. As a regular cook, I can tell you that there's nothing more tiring than preparing ingredients, cooking them and then doing the cleanup. To spend time doing a practice run on a virtual simulator prior to actually cooking sounds like too added work.
Still, I think that a simulator such as this can be used to train children how to cook without the risk of hurting themselves on over a hot stove. What do you think? Is this a simulator a silly or ingenius invention? See it for yourself in the video below.