One of my favorite attractions at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., is the Carousel of Progress. What was once meant to demonstrate how far technology has come, now feels like a quaint little museum to what it once was. It originally opened during the 1964–'65 New York World's Fair under the name Progressland, and landed at Disney World in 1975. It rotates through four generations of one family, showing us how their home advances and changes as the years fall away.
We begin in the turn of the 19th century with dad on a rocking chair and mom marveling at the new machine that lets her wash clothes in just five hours! Eventually we end up in the present which has been updated a few times, the last occurring in 1993, with ideas worked in that were nods to the future. Some, like voice-activated appliances, weren't very far off. I can't help but think of that as I watch this TikTok of a woman using a kitchen robot to prepare dinner. Let's dig in.
Is the kitchen robot more efficient?
I have a homemade hamburger helper recipe I'm obsessed with. It involves a skillet and a small pot. I have learned to reduce the time it takes to make this by doing things like buying pre-chopped onions and shredded cheese. From start to finish, the process takes less than half an hour. The cleanup is simple because I'm only washing the two items used for cooking as well as a spoon. It couldn't be easier.
Apparently Arianna Raymond, who goes by @arianna.raymond7 on TikTok, felt this journey could be simpler. She dropped a TikTok wherein she demonstrates what it's like using a kitchen robot to make hamburger helper. If this is the future, I'm begging the Terminator to take me now. In fact, I'm on my way to change my name to Sarah Connor.
First and foremost it's enormous, which makes sense because it's doing the work of several kitchen tools and half a human being. Secondly, the kitchen robot is answering a question no one has asked: How can I still be in my kitchen cooking except now I'm just in my kitchen making sure a machine is cooking? Congratulations, you're now a manager.
To start, Arianna chooses her meal which is a bacon cheeseburger pasta. Then she puts ingredients into separate containers. Container A has noodles, container B has ground beef, onions, and garlic, while containers C and D have bacon and cheese respectively. Below the containers are two trays that hold water in one, and oil in the other. I'm already exhausted.
The top of the kitchen robot has another tray for spices but it looks kind of like a centrifuge. I assume what's going on inside of it is, spice red and white blood cells are being separated from plasma. I'm not a doctor, but this feels right.
Once all of this has been complete, you turn the machine on and watch as various items drop into a pot that is heated as if it's on a stove. An arm spins the bacon around as it cooks. Once container B has been dropped into the mix, the ground beef cooks but still doesn't looked quite cooked through when the water is added. There must be a timer, but how can it know when the meat is done?
The last thing to go is pasta, but the liquid doesn't appear to be boiling when it plops into the pot. Arianna takes a bite of the finished meal and smiles while exclaiming it's good. But, how can it not be? This is the most basic meal. Meat, cheese, and pasta are rarely a miss. I am baffled by this machine and don't understand what is really does for someone apart from give them a few more minutes of phone time.
Who's gonna clean this thing?
Many people in the comments are pretty curious about how cleaning will go (as am I). As previously mentioned, without this machine you're looking at roughly four items that need scrubbing. I'm not including dishes. With it, you need to clean the pot, the arm used to stir, the spice centrifuge, each container (four), and the two trays used for oil and water. Plus the machine itself probably has to be cleaned. This is definitely more work.
Also, this is very expensive. As of the time of this writing, you can only pre-order the Nymble Kitchen Robot. If you do so now, the price is $995 but if you wait, it goes up to $1,500. This math is not mathing. My first car cost $1,500. Not only does this machine feel useless, like when a social media app does an update and all they did was change the font, but it's just too costly for what it's doing. If you're looking for the future today, might I suggest a trip to the Carousel of Progress? This seems like a Carousel of Problems.