I am on the Bagel Bites diet because I don't know how to cook and I hate wasting food. I once made a pseudo-Pad Thai and ended up eating a bowl of pure peanut butter noodles… that I threw away the next day. Thankfully, researches found a way to practice cooking with digital ingredients, so no more wasted peanut butter noodles.
The Tokyo Institute of Technology created a simulator that makes you feel like you're cooking with real food. The system works by rigging a frying pan with a number of pulleys and simulators that makes it look and feel like you're cooking a real steak. With the use of a screen above the pan and a half mirror, the steak and vegetables gets projected on the pan. There's a digital spatula that you can hold use to interact with the food. Everything the user does, from shaking the pan to flipping the food, gets calculated and the user can see and feel the effects on the meat and vegetables getting cooked. The simulator can even calculate how the moisture is affected by the increase of temperature. The experience touches on almost every sense except for, sadly, the sense of smell.It's amazing to see how technology is improving the way we live and how we can accomplish things that once took up much more time and resources. It may not ever satisfy the training for the most professional of chefs, but for the rest of us, who so badly want to make real Pad Thai, it's a great experiment that could help hone our skills… or lack there of.