Monday, Nov. 13, 2006

Sauvignon Bot

This squat robot with a swiveling head can "taste" wine using infrared light sensors and a spectrometer in its left arm. When training its beam directly onto a bottle of, say, Sauvignon Blanc, the bot can analyze the chemical composition of the liquid inside to determine type, brand and flavor and then suggest a complementary cheese (it relays the info by speaking in a high-pitched voice). NEC's mechanical sommelier is the latest robot with an "optical tongue" to emerge from the company's research lab in Tokyo; the first, PaPeRo, unveiled last year, identifies ingredients in food.

Inventor: NEC System Technologies and Mie University
Availability: Prototype only
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