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A southern Taiwan university research team invents automatic wok

The invention by a research team from southern Taiwan's Shu-Te University, comes with a traditional wok capable of stir-frying Chinese dishes such as ...

The invention by a research team from southern Taiwan's Shu-Te University, comes with a traditional wok capable of stir-frying Chinese dishes such as ...

If you're one of those people who can't, don't have time or don't like to cook, your answer might be an automatic wok, according to inventors of the robot-like devise unveiled Monday, which is capable of stir-frying Chinese dishes such as gong bao diced chicken.

The invention by a research team from southern Taiwan's Shu-Te University, comes with a traditional wok, a robotic arm holding a spatula to be installed near the gas stove in one's kitchen, a touch-panel PDA and a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader.

"It is capable of reading the manual instructions for stir-frying, braising or stewing," said Chen Chih-yung (陳智勇), an assistant professor with the university’s Department of Computer and Communication.

By following the PDA's audio instructions, even someone who has never cooked can partake in cooking after washing and cutting up the ingredients. The RFID system in the PDA will let the person know what seasonings to add, while the automatic spatula will stir fry the ingredients, before serving the hot dish on a plate, said Chen, who leads the research team.

For now, the automatic wok and its RFID system can cook gong bao diced chicken, beef with green onions and stir-fried tomato and eggs, Chen said. Eventually, it can be programmed to make more elaborate dishes.

The inventors have applied with the Ministry of Economic Affairs for a patent for the automatic wok and its technology.

The automatic wok is part of a system--known as Integrating RFID Technology into Shopping and Cooking system--that won the top prize in a nationwide college RFID application contest this month.