“Overview and Motivations
We created a steak-cooking robot. All you do is put the steak on the robot’s food-safe skewers and food probe and it does the rest. We decided to create this robot to cook better steaks using precise temperature measurements throughout the entire cooking process and, most importantly, not have to babysit the grill to achieve this.
High Level Design
BeefBot is a robot that cooks a steak for you using temperature sensing with no supervision after being put on the grill. Traditionally, when preparing a steak, it is often hard to get the right doneness without cutting into it to check. There exist other methods, such as using a food thermometer and comparing the feeling of the steak to your palm. These, however, require either looking up the proper temperature for desired doneness or worse, guesswork. We thought it would be very useful to create a device that would cook a steak for you using sensors rather than vague guesses. To accomplish this, we imagined a robot that would integrate with an existing kitchen appliance (stove top, pan, grill, etc.). Initial concept sketches are shown in Figures 2 and 3. With such a robot, all one would need to do to cook a perfect steak every time is put it on the robot arm and let it do the rest.
Hardware/ Software Tradeoffs
One tradeoff was the creation of a low pass filter for our robot. We needed a filter out the excess noise coming from the foreman grill which was giving off about 60Hz from the wall socket. We came up with two solutions, one being taking a large number of samples over 1 second and averaging the results, and the other creating a low pass filter using a regulator and capacitors in series. The latter proved to be more beneficial simply because it improved the accuracy of our temperature readings and would continuously filter out all noise without a problem, whereas, using software could have decreased the accuracy of our data due to extraneous data coming through the thermometer during averaging.
The main logic of our robot is to have a steak loaded onto the skewers and thermometer and be lowered onto a grill. The steak is flipped at a predetermined temperature,100 F for medium-rare, and raised from the grill to rest at a predetermined temperature, 130 F for medium-rare, as shown in the block diagram in Figure 4. Both values could depend on the meat being used and the desired doneness.”