It might not look too fancy, but China's first cooking robot, cleverly named "AICookingrobot" or AIC for short, can manage Sichuan, Shandong and Canton cuisines, with a repertory of thousands of dishes. Four years in development, AIC cost 2 million yuan to build -- about $253,000 US -- and will supposedly help "standardize Chinese fast food." The bot mimics the actions of those lame-o human chefs that are always asking for "raises," "bathroom breaks" and "sleep," and was recently demonstrated on Sunday cooking "beautifully-flavored, attractive-looking shrimp" in five minutes. We're not quite sure how far the talents of the bot reach, since we know the bot can fry, bake, boil and steam stuff, but there's no word on chopping or measuring or other minor details like that. Still, the AIC -- which will go on sale in 2007 and even should reach the home in the not-so-distant future -- is clearly a pre-cursor to the day when we can all sit back with our Nintendo DS-based cooking simulators while all the real work gets done by a Chinese cookbot in the kitchen. What a world that will be.

[Via Robot Gossip]

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Chinese cookbot arrives, you are now obsolete