“When we taste, the process of chewing also provides continuous feedback to our brains,” said co-author Dr Arsen Abdulali, also from the Department of Engineering.
“Current methods of electronic testing only take a single snapshot from a homogenised sample, so we wanted to replicate a more realistic process of chewing and tasting in a robotic system, which should result in a tastier end product.”
The ‘tasting’ of the robot arm is done through an attached salinity sensor, with saltiness being the easiest taste differentiator to analyse.
“We needed something cheap, small and fast to add to our robot so it could do the tasting: it needed to be cheap enough to use in a kitchen, small enough for a robot, and fast enough to use while cooking,” said Sochacki.
The research findings are published in the journal Frontiers in Robotics & AI.