PancakeBot prints flapjacks in any shape you can trace

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Pancakebot’ debuted at International Home and Housewares Show.

In the persistent quest to take all human effort out of basic tasks, manufacturers showcased several new “smart” products at the International Home and Housewares Show that tackle everything from pancake design to makeovers.Two years after building a DIY LEGO Pancake Bot, which involved a ketchup bottle and a built-in griddle to sizzle dispensed batter, Miguel Valenzuela, the Norway-based U.S. maker behind the earlier homebrew project, is back crowdfunding a smarter batter dispenser that 3D prints sketches in pancake batter and cooks them in the order you drew the lines — resulting in edible pancake art.

The idea: “Print” intricate pancake designs — the Eiffel Tower with all its lattice, for example — using a “smart batter dispensing system” that traces the desired image onto a griddle. The idea: This mirror shows how different colors or styles of makeup would look on your face — or, for men, whether a mustache is a good idea — without anyone having to actually apply the makeup or grow the mustache.

Users design the image with provided software, save the image on an SD card, and insert that into the PancakeBot, which uses a combination of compressed air and a vacuum to control where the batter is dispensed. Why would you use this: Inventor Miguel Valenzuela, who in his day job works as a civil engineer at the San Diego County Water Authority, said “it is about inspiring kids to look at technology in different ways.” In addition to kids at home being able to print dinosaurs or any other shapes that excite them in pancake form, restaurants could customize pancakes for customers or print their logos on pancakes.

He had moved on to an acrylic design, in any case, and has also now partnered with New York based product development company StoreBound to — in his words — “bring a refined version of the product to market by mid 2015″. In addition, the mirror pinpoints wrinkles, sunspots and other skin imperfections and recommends products and lifestyle regimens to improve them, the efficacy of which you can evaluate by peering into the mirror later and seeing if it finds fewer flaws.

The product ($299) is expected to launch in early fall at a large retailer that caters to commercial customers, said Evan Dash, CEO of product innovation company Storebound, which helps inventors to get their products to market. Where to find it: The company is in “discussion phases” with several specialty retailers that could install the mirrors in their stores, said Corrie Murphy, vice president of consumer marketing and beauty. No one is going to be replacing their microwave oven with a paste extruding all-in-one 3D-printer-cooker just yet but the nutritional slurry of the future looks like it will at least be cunningly concealed within fancy-looking shapes. The idea: Reduce the risk of human error with a system that uses Bluetooth technology to communicate the details of the recipe you are making to a Connect blender, mixer and food scale. Users select from 100 recipes featured on a recipe app, and then follow step-by-step instructions for adding ingredients to the blender pitcher placed on the food scale, which tells you when to stop pouring based on weight.

A helpful feature is the ability to customize recipes based on servings, so that you don’t screw up ratios, and suggestions for substituting ingredients you don’t have on hand.

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