robot kitchen, Spyce
Credit: Courtesy of YouTube/Spyce

Students can now get their dining hall grub from a high-tech, entirely robotic kitchen at – where else – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MIT is known for recruiting top flight engineering students, and recently, four of those undergrads have been showing off a piece of technology they designed in one of the school cafeterias. Kale Rogers, Michael Farid, Braden Knight, and Luke Schlueter developed what Tech Insider describes as a “fully automated mini-restaurant” named Spyce Kitchen that spits out meals in under five minutes. The all-in-one food prep station has everything: a dishwasher, stove and “robot chef” that both cooks and serves.

Though the compact kitchen (which only needs 20 square feet of space) can only make “bowls,” it still serves up a pretty diverse lineup. Right now, students can order one of five meals via a smartphone app or touch screen: shrimp andouille jambalaya, chicken-bacon sweet potato hash, winter veggie mac and cheese, chili-lime beef with sesame rice, and chickpea coconut curry on couscous. Users can even customize things like the ingredients, sauce and quantity. That last part alone is better than most dining halls I’ve been to.

You still have to put a bowl under the pot lest your meal just get dumped on the counter. And the machine still needs to be manually restocked every day. But outside of that, everything else is handled by machine. The pots even clean themselves under a sink after each use. After receiving USDA and FDA approval, the four students hope to bring the robot kitchen to other nearby schools. Beyond whipping up great meals, it’ll also serve as a great reminder to college kids that all of the jobs they hoped to get are being replaced by robots.