When the need arises for a very specific type of robot, odds are pretty good it exists in Japan. A new Japanese robot can make 2,500 fried tofu rolls per hour, puffing little triangles of tofu with air and stuffing them with rice with precision and speed.
It is so careful that the designers, based at Suzumo, compare it to a syringe: The fried tofu skin is opened quickly, and then more air is blown in so the rice can be inserted.
Inari sushi rolls are fried tofu triangles or squares stuffed with rice. It can be difficult to shove rice into the tight corners, but the new robot accomplishes this with ease. Now each bite is filled not only with fried soy snack but with soft grains of rice. You can run it on a slower setting, filling 1,200 pieces of inari sushi per hour. This machine went on sale in April and runs for $50,000, so get yours now.
Nigiri sushi is hand-made sushi; inari sushi is a fried tofu snack. We need a word for robot hand-made inari sushi.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.