Scientists Make Munch-O-Bot: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

If robots suddenly develop a taste for human flesh, you can blame Gaëlle Arvisenet and his team of ENITIAA in Nantes, France. They're developing a robotic mouth:

The artificial mouth comprises a 600mL container, a notched plunger, and variable-speed motors to control the speed of compression and rotation movements. The container is kept at 37°C (98.6°F), and as the food is broken down, helium flows through the device to reproduce breathing.

The researchers compared Golden Delicous apple slices chewed by people told to spit their mouthfuls when they were ready to swallow with slices chewed by the apparatus. The resulting pulp was analyzed for color, texture and aroma.

Consider when a person eating next to you rudely opens their food-stuffed mouth, what you are witnessing is, while completely disgusting, a marvel of nature not easily reproduced.

"Using a previous artificial mouth, we showed that the amounts of extracted volatile compounds were not the same when apples were crushed, cut into slices, or reduced to a puree state. It follows that to study the aroma compounds responsible for global aroma perception, it is necessary to reproduce the changes that the foodstuffs undergo in the human mouth."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/07/scientists_make_chewbot_9000/ - via Engadget


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