What it does
Sous Chef is an automated appliance which can cook fresh meals for you anytime, from anywhere
Coming from families with many elderly relatives, we were made aware that they required fresh homemade food with a specified diet due to health issues. As a result of our hectic schedules, with us returning home only very late in the evening, we were unable to help them in meal preparation and on time. Thus, meeting their dietary requirements on a daily basis was a challenge. This not only put our relatives’ health at stake, but we realized that we too consumed outside food more often than it was considered healthy. That is when it dawned upon us that the situation we were facing was not limited within our homes, but rather was a global phenomena. Elderly all over are facing similar problems and working adults are eating out rather than cooking at their homes almost daily due to convenience and a lack of time. Both parties’ well-being are negatively affected as a result. Hence, we decided to solve this problem by designing a smart automated cooking appliance- Sous Chef. We aim to not only help the elderly have a healthy meal daily but also, help promote eating at home to people of all ages regardless of occupation, availability of time and complexity of the dish.
How it works
Sous Chef comes with all the basic functions required in a kitchen to prepare a decent meal. Following are the features of Sous Chef: Cutting: vegetable, fruit or meat is placed in the track and is pushed through the cutter which helps to cut them into strips Dicing: along with the cutter, a rotary blade can be engaged which rotates periodically to help cut food into cubes Storage: different tubes hold different vegetables and meat, with a lever at the base, helps to unload the chosen ingredient into the collector Pan: all the chosen items and ingredients are transferred into the pan to be cooked Mixing: a ladle is fixed directly above the pan, which has the function to rotate 360 degrees, helping in the mixing of the food in the pan The preparation of meals is made possible by either using pre-programmed recipes stored in Sous Chef or through manual operation. Both these actions have the flexibility of customization and engaging of specific action/sequence(s) required by the user, through their smart device application. Wireless connectivity enables Sous Chef to be engaged even when the user is away from home.
From cutting vegetables and meat to carrying heavy pans to handling hot utensils, elderly face many limitations especially while cooking independently. These problems were reiterated when we interviewed the elderly around our neighbourhood. We also found out that around 60% of them consume food outside on a daily basis and feel that the food does not meet their dietary requirements to a large extent. As such, we wanted to bring in all the components of cooking yet keep it simple and safe. Thus, we incorporated the different elements of cooking, such as cutting, dicing and mixing, all of which can be done without any physical effort but rather be controlled using a smart device. Due to funding limitations, we are currently working on the individual modules of the design, such as the vegetable cutter, cooking pan and ingredient jar. With greater aid, our team is confident to have a successful working prototype.
How it is different