Craving Danial Shaharuddin, 17, a first-year Information Technology

Craving for a savoury snack, refreshing
glass of mocktail and a sweet dessert this Open House 2018? So did Mr Ng Chee
Meng, Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport when
he visited our School of Hospitality. He was surprised to find out that only
the mocktail was made by in-house Mixologists. The others, not by human.

“In Republic Polytechnic, Culinary
students cook and Engineering students make robots,” says Danial Shaharuddin,
17, a first-year Information Technology student. Many have the same impression
but surprisingly, the Chefs on campus do more than just experimenting with food.
They experiment with robots too.

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Suzanne Ng, a facilitator from the School
of Hospitality, explained that the students in Diploma in Restaurant and
Culinary Operations (DRCO) have been
searching worldwide for latest technological innovations to be used in the
kitchen. They believe, “Machines in the kitchen should not be limited to food
mixers or blenders.” Open House 2018 was the platform they need to showcase
their two newest robot chefs; a natural sorbet
and fried egg maker.

In just fifteen
minutes, their latest machine from Switzerland, Pacojet 2, can create delicious
sorbet by micro-puring deep-frozen foods into ultra-fine textures without
thawing. It does not only make sorbet but ease cooking steps as it can process
food with or without over-pressure, cut, chop and blend ingredients. Also, this
machine preserves intensive aromas, natural colours and vital nutrients.

The highlight
to this year’s School of Hospitality booth was the competition between fried
egg maker, AUSCA, which stands for Automated Service Chef Associate and student
chefs, to create the perfect fried egg in the fastest timing. AUSCA cooks  like how human chefs do, but better; firstly
dripping a calculated amount of oil into a non-stick pan, cracking two eggs and
replaces his hand for a spatula. AUSCA then nudges the eggs back and forth until
the whites set and scoops the eggs to serve them onto the plate. With the
world’s first autonomous service chef robot’s ability to serve in three and a
half minutes, it was not difficult for it to beat humans.

These two robots
symbolizes new beginnings in the Diploma of Restaurant and Culinary Operations.
With a sorbet maker and a robot whipping up fried eggs, we can only anticipate what
the chefs will introduce next. In-house Chef, Michael Ong, says “There will be more
robots to come, definitely. The future is now!”