"Cyber cook": Scientist in Cambridge create a robot that learns to cook by watching videos

June 6, 2023  19:24

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have created a robot chef that learns recipes by watching videos on cooking different dishes.

The robot’s program is based on the so-called imitation machine learning method. The device looks at what the person is doing in the video and then tries to reproduce what it saw. Scientists have explained that, as a rule, people too improve their cooking skills with the same scheme.

As part of the research, eight simple salad recipes were downloaded into the robot’s system. Then the robot was shown videos of cooking those dishes. Based on hand movements and ingredients, the machine determined the recipe and started repeating the cooking steps. At the end of the experiment, the "cyber cook" was asked to create its own dish.

Out of 16 watched videos, the robot correctly identified the recipe in 93% of cases. Moreover, the machine was able to recognize only 83% of the specific actions of the human chef.

The researchers noted that the robot is still unable to replicate the dishes of famous chefs, whose videos often become popular on social networks. The problem is that the machine is not able to recognize the quick human movements that famous chefs often use when cutting ingredients professionally. However, scientists believe that as technology improves, the robot will be able to learn to cook by watching YouTube videos.

A corresponding article on the study was published in the IEEE Access scientific journal.

  • Archive