Will this replace the decades of experience that a fine sushi chef brings to the art? Of course not. But it will raise the bar of quality for high-volume production of one of the world’s greatest culinary delights. And I’d much rather have one of these in my kitchen than a whole fridge full of Cristal…
Suzumo, which claims to have developed the world’s first sushi robot in 1981, has a countertop machine that cranks out oblong rice mounds at up to 3,600 mph (mounds per hour), according to the company website. The machine feature a top-mounted rice bucket from which the bot grabs a chunk of rice. It sculpts it into a neatly shaped pellet that’s then placed on a revolving platform. Eventually, a piece of fish will rest atop the rice, and the nigiri sushi will be ready to go.
Suzumo says another one of its bots can make 300 medium-sized sushi rolls an hour. (Productivity goes up as size goes down.) The machine takes rice from its rice bowl and presses it into flat sheet. A piece of seaweed, fish and veggies are placed on top. Then, at the press of a button, the platform, which looks like a white conveyer belt in some models, envelops the open sushi and rolls it up. Presto! The maki roll is almost ready. Now, the slicer bot just needs to cut it up.