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Robots as chefs in Chinese restaurant


 Shanghai: Visitors to a fast-food restaurant in Shanghai may be pleasantly surprised when they are served food cooked by two robot chefs.

The robot chefs at the Wishdoing restaurant on Shanghai's Nanjing Road can cook delicious Chinese cuisine within three minutes. They can serve customers eight popular dishes, including "crowd-puller dishes" like Kung Pao chicken, spicy diced chicken with peanuts and Mapo Tofu, bean curd with chilli sauce. The workers only have to press buttons on the robots to choose a dish and they will display the name of the ingredients and their quantities, the Shanghai Daily reported.

In appearance, the robots look like huge kitchen surfaces equipped with iron pots.

It only takes three minutes for a robot to clean the pot from a previous meal, stir the ingredients, finish cooking and then move the food onto a plate for serving.

Although the robots cost 200,000 yuan ($30,350) each, the fast food chain is planning to install them in all of its 100 outlets across the country, said an official surnamed Ma, working with the restaurant's parent company, Shanghai Qi Ding Food Development Co.

The robots were earlier displayed at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 and attracted a lot of attention, Ma said.

"We believe the cooking robots will become a trend in the future for the fast food industry as they guarantee low-carbon emission, food safety and standard tastes that don't change from one outlet to another."

The coming of the robots has, however, raised concerns among some chefs, who are worried they could lose the jobs.

But Ma said the concern was totally unnecessary.

"The robot chefs will be one part of the restaurant, but it doesn't mean that we would abandon traditional cooking methods."

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