The Scary Reality Of A Robot That Taught Itself How To Make Pancakes


While five Terminator movies and a short-lived television show have taught me to be wary of sentient machines, I can't help but feel delighted that there are automatons out there making pancakes.

Delighted and uneasy.

A group of scientists from RoboHow have created a robot that's capable of learning to cook from both humans and the Internet.

How it works


According to MIT Technology Review, the PR2 robot learns by analyzing human motions, like whisking batter or flipping pancakes. It scans text from websites to learn any additional information it needs to complete a task.

Semantic Parsing, how machines analyze human language into information, allows the robot to learn all the details necessary to execute a dish. This includes how to open a jar, mix batter and even flip a pancake.

Why we're scared

Once one PR2 learns how to cook a dish, it uploads that knowledge to a database that all RoboHow robots can access.


With an army of robotic chefs, it's only a matter of time before working as a cook becomes an obsolete profession.

Scanning information from community-driven wikiHow might also not be the safest thing. What prevents them from learning other motions like swiping a switchblade or shooting a slingshot?

RoboHow must have accounted for all those things. Right?

According to Michael Beetz, a member of RoboHow, the robots can be on the market in as little as ten years. The reality is quickly approaching.

Until a misplaced code or line of text sparks the inevitable robotic revolution, I might stick to making my own pancakes.