WATCH: Robot Cooks Pancakes by Following WikiHow Instructions

Robot chefs are becoming a reality

This is the robot PR2 flipping a pancake.

Imagine a world where robots know how to make pancakes and pizzas (could it be the answer to the chef shortage we’re currently facing?). That dream actually isn’t that far away in Europe.

Enter RoboHow — a project based at the University of Bremen in northern Germany that teaches robots to understand languages. One of the robots, named PR2, can actually cook pancakes and pizza by following instructions from websites like WikiHow.

The researchers behind RoboHow had to train the robots to perform the action in the instructions. For example, if an instruction said to flip the pancake, they would have to program the robot to pick up a spatula or other utensil first. The robots store this knowledge in a database, learning by guidance from a person or by watching a how-to video.

“You want the robot to generate the parameters automatically out of the semantic description of objects,” Michael Beetz, head of the Artificial Intelligence Institute of the University of Bremen, told the MIT Technology Review.

If these robots adopt more skills from the WikiHow pages, we’d like them to be our very own personal chefs.