Japan’s SushiBot Makes 300 Sushi Rolls in One Hour
When food and technology unite, expect crazy results — like this pizza vending machine, or this cookbook that you can bake and eat. Sushi, though, seems like one of those sacred foods that can’t be touched by a machine. Have you ever watched a master sushi chef at work? Good sushi is an art form; bad sushi, a sin.
The Japanese seem to embrace technology when it comes to just about everything. So when their national dish needs some improvement, it is nothing that a robot can’t fix. Sure, sushi is an art form, but good art takes time and time is money. Mass production of sushi is vital in a world that seems to be obsessed with the rolls. Welcome to the future of mass food production, brought to you by Japan. Behold, the SushiBot!
Japanese company Suzumo unveiled their sushi-making machines at the World Food and Beverage Great Expo 2012 in Tokyo. These machines can make 300 medium-sized sushi rolls or shape 3,600 mounds of rice per hour. That’s enough to keep any trendy L.A. citizen satisfied, or give a whole new set of B-list actors “mercury poisoning” (we’re looking at you, Jeremy Piven).
According to Wired, the sushi robot industry is a competitive and growing sector. “Other companies have hopped on the sushibot bandwagon. Robotic Sushi, for example, offers several tabletop industrial machines,” Wired explains. “And Taiko Enterprises, which has offices in Japan, China, and the United States, produces several robots, including the Rolling Mate. The 20-pound contraption’s base functions ‘reproduce the skills of the craftsman,’ reads a company brochure.”
Suzumo similarly aligns itself with “traditional” sushi. Suzumo’s website explains, “We continuously challenge to create unknown technologies in the world of rice for everybody to experience the traditional taste of rice easily, and develop a new rice foods business globally as pioneer of Sushi Robot manufacturer [sic].”
In the world of food technology — staying traditional while using new machines is certainly a challenge. But Suzumo is well seasoned in sushi robot technology; they claim that they made the first sushi robot in 1981. We’re waiting for the blind taste test to show just how well the machine mimics the “traditional” sushi taste.
Wired also reports that Suzumo can only produce 10 rolls in two minutes, whereas Joakim Lunblad — the world’s fastest sushi maker — can make 12 rolls in two minutes.
Watch the SushiBot in action below.