Remember Chef Cui? Of course you do! Last we heard of Cui Runquan's noodle-shaving robot, it was an army of one. Runquan's made good on his promise to mass produce Chef Cui and, from the looks of it, the robot makes noodles as good or better than a human.
With its glowing yellow eyes and vaguely humanoid shape, Chef Cui doesn't look like a robot that'll take jobs away from us lowly humans.Sure enough, that's exactly what Chef Cui will end up doing.
For about about $1,500 U.S. dollars Chef Cui "can slice noodles better than human chefs and it is much cheaper than a real human chef," says Liu Maohu, a noodle shop owner in China. "It costs more than 30,000 RMB ($4,700 USD) to hire a chef for a year, but the robot just costs me 10,000 RMB ($1,500 USD). It is a great machine, and it is better than man." (Emphasis ours.)
So we know Chef Cui can work for hours on end, but how good are the noodles made by a robot when compared to a human? One customer at a noodle shop eating Chef Cui-made noodles said, "The noodles made by this robot are as good as the man-made ones."
According to Runquan in the video below, the only reason Chef Cui exists is because younger people are less willing to spend their lives working as a noodle shaver. The work is repetitive and can be very exhausting. So, really, it's humanity's fault for not wanting to do such a mundane job.
Look on the bright side: we still need chefs to cook the noodles and we can all sleep soundly knowing Chef Cui doesn't have robot legs to chase us with its blade arm.