Bouébot is not an ordinary robot. It’s the first robot in history capable of making a perfect fondue.
At the headquarters of workshop 4.0, its founders are busy making the final tweaks before their machine leaves for the Paris International Agricultural Show.
At the workshop, which is situated in Sierre at the base of the famous ski resort in Crans Montana in the Canton of Valais, waiters sing and the air is heavy laden with the smell of melted cheese.
A robot that’s grate at its job
Bouébot – derived from the word “bouébos”, young men who help Alpine herders with tasks such as making cheese – starts up.
The robot arm, which has six axes, pours a specific amount of white wine into a fondue pot, the classic vessel for fondue.
The iconic dish, known and loved around the globe since the 1939-40 World’s Fair, remains at the heart Swiss conviviality today.
Workshop 4.0 has already invented raclette, which is served at the workshop.
We wanted to do a project again that combined innovation and Swiss traditions and then the fondue were all found.
How is a Swiss fondue made?
For a human, preparing a fondue and tasting it does not present any particular difficulty apart from finding the right ingredients. It’s quite different for a robot.
A classic fondue mix is called half and half and involves half Vacherin, a soft cheese and Gruyère, a hard cheese.
For Ludovic Ayron, technical manager, the most challenging part is to teach a robot to handle the variations in the consistency, thickness, and roughness of an organic product.
“It’s a live material. I can’t just base my business on a 3D simulation because we can do with a number of industrial processes.” “I have to have real tests before I validate my processes.”
Bouébot continues to fight brave He cuts the crust off the bread, puts the fondue pan underneath the cheese grater before grating the cheese, so that he doesn’t get any crumbs stuck to his fond He then stirs the mixture vigorously and slowly, until it gradually melts and mixes.
Once the desired consistency is reached, Bouébot puts a fondue stick in a piece of bread and plunges it into the pot. It then makes a pirouette, and it’s ready to eat.
The technological future of food production
Bouébot, a demonstration robot, can either excite or worry people.
“I find the most interesting effect to be the fear effect,” says Ludovic Aymon. “It’s the effect that I find most surprising.”
For me, robots should not replace human workers. “It should help humans.”