Canadian Packaging

It had to happen – the BratWurst Bot

Built by Forschungszentrum Informatik in Germany, the BratWurst Bot served up German sausages at a social event, even chatting with customers while cooking the meat tubes.

July 25, 2016   by Canadian Packaging staff

Did Germans get a glimpse of the future this past July 7, 2016 at the 53rd Stallwächterparty (Stable Guard party) of the Federal government of Baden-Württemberg State in Berlin?

At the social event that attracts businesses, politicians, and international celebrities, a one-armed robot not only cooked bratwurst sausage for hungry customers, but talked to them as well.

Designed by Forschungszentrum Informatik of Karlesruhe, Germany, the BratWurst Bot was built to demonstrate how off-the-shelf parts could be used to construct dynamic, practical robots without special fabrication.

Built with common parts, the BratWurst Bot utilizes an adaptive software package that allows it to interact with people. It uses an Universal Robots UR-10 arm with a Schunk PG-70 parallel gripping hand and a set of standard grill tongs.

Customers entered their name via a tablet with an ROS (robot operating system)-based web front end. The information is then added to a queue with a running total of how much preparation time is left until order fulfillment.

The BratWurst Bot attached to the robot arm used a second tablet to display a mock chef face—a cartoon image with eyes, and curled mustache to make it seem friendly than most human chefs. A standard chef hat was placed atop this second tablet to complete the look.

While there was no specific actual talk to each customer, chef BratWurst Bot would, via the tablet, utter hilarious phrases in German, such as: “Hot and greasy!” and “Delicious sausage”, both of which Canadian Packaging assumes is funnier with out the translation.

BratWurst Bot uses two RGB (red, green, blue) cameras and a segmentation algorithm with background subtraction (for cook time), that lets the robot chef see the bratwurst sausage on the either the supply tray or on the grill and monitor—by the sausage’s color—when each should be turned and then plated.

Over 200 sausages were served at the gathering and, since there were no reports of people suffering later from under-cooked meat, we can assume everyone enjoyed a sausage cooked by a robot chef.

See the BratWurstBot in action in the YouTube video below. Disregard the Euro-beat music, unless you are really into that sort of tech:


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