Cooking innovations are slowly making their way to the best kitchens in the world. This project aims to develop new technology that aids cooks and chefs in making the most delicious food possible.
This project will focus on the first in a series of RoboCook assistants. The Fridge assistant is meant to store meat and keep it frozen, and to automate the defrosting process, all in an efficient and elegant system.
The first step in the product development plan is to use the Design Thinking methodology to develop the first concept of the product.
Although this will be the strategy used to do an initial approach at the product development, this methodology will persist along the later stages of the project. Here is a brief overview of this concept to understand why this will be present in the long term.
Design Thinking Overview
Design thinking is a process that is used to do a deep dive into users' experiences and use that as a reference to develop a product. It is an iterative, non-linear methodology to create innovative ideas and follows through the prototyping and testing phases. It is best used when exploring uncommon problems or fields.
There are five stages in the process: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
Design Thinking in Project RoboCook
The first three steps will be done throughout the first stage of the problem, which ends with the deadline of the first submission (9/27).
The first step (empathize) is what triggered this project. Through a discussion with people with a passion for cooking and people who don’t enjoy cooking alike, a common complaint was how troublesome can be planning for a proper defrosting process of scheduled meals.
I found it interesting that this was an issue present through different dietary preferences. Initially, it was thought it would perform best with people that are going through a diet meal plan and know what they plan to eat for the rest of the week. A device that could properly defrost ingredients according to a dietary meal plan was the objective.
Nevertheless, others commented that even when not being on a diet or having scheduled meals, being able to remotely initiate a defrosting process for same-day consumption would be valuable for them.
These are the considerations for the user preferences as far as food preparation goes. It is also important to consider that this device will be meant for residential use. Restaurant kitchens tend to have higher-grade equipment to support cooking, so an additional purpose of this project is to elevate the quality of the technology used in home-cooked meals.
I've decided to bet the success of this project on having a very solid foundation. In order to keep myself from derailing, I'm working in the development of this product with a Project Management methodology. I believe this will bring multiple benefits:
- Project Gantt Chart: It will help me to keep clear expectations of what I can accomplish by working by myself, to keep accountability of my progress, and to be conscious about the prize's deadlines.
- Project Charter: It will be useful to limit the project scope, and to note internal and external limitations that could threaten the project's completion.
- Deliverable-based Approach: Working on a set of pre-defined deliverables makes it easier to organized documentation. This way, anybody that is interested in the product or the project can have highly detailed information.
Currently, I've finished the Gantt chart and milestones and tasks look promising. I will be using those checkpoints as references to write the logs in this profile, so you can expect frequent updates about my progress!
Once we are close to the Challenge 4 submission deadline, I'll be sharing those deliverables in this profile as well! Stay tuned :)
Hello everyone! My name is Patricio Montalvo, and for the last few years, I've been very passionate about two things: technology and gastronomy.
Both technology and gastronomy alike are disciplines that boosted the development of the human race as a society. Nevertheless, it seems that cooking innovation is a field with a relatively slow progress.
Modern-day cooking technology is branched into two main categories The first one is rudimentary, which includes day to day household cooking technology like microwaves, fridges, water boilers, electric stoves, rice cookers, and so on.
The second category is high-end, which includes technology used in more specialized kitchens, like centrifuges, subs vide cookers, control ovens, and others.
My initial goal in this project is to develop a new line of technology that empower people who enjoy to cook in any scenario. In other words, I want to bring the next technological upgrade to the household cooking experience.
The first approach will be an automatic fridge-defroster system.
This was born of the fact that I often have to deal with my mother's giving me a hard time about forgetting to take the meat out of the freezer so that it could be adequately defrosted.
Many ingredients, once frozen, need to go through complex defrosting sequences in order to be in their quality when cooked. With that in mind, I want to design and develop a multi-container based mini fridge that could automate the tasks of effectively defrosting stored ingredients.
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