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Automated Oven-Based Cooking Project

 

 

Fundamentally the process of cooking foodstuffs in an oven is governed by two key factors: i) temperature induced protein changes in the foodstuff being cooked, and ii) controlled moisture loss. Sensing estimation and control of these two factors through time and as they vary through the material being cooked is the essential problem to be solved in autonomous cooking and is the research focus of this project

The overarching objective of this project is a fully autonomous system for oven-based cooking: After pre-heating, an arbitrary fod item is placed in the oven. A combination of sensors determines food type and quality. Through a process of sensing and estimation, properties of the food are continuously monitored. These include surface and through-material temperature and moisture, mass, protein and chemical changes. This information is used to control global and local oven temperatures and oven moisture removal. Together the sensing, estimation and control process yields an optimally cooked product every time.

The research objectives for this project are three-fold:

  1. To explore and develop appropriate multi-sensor systems to monitor temperature, foodstuff mass and moisture content, chemical and protein changes.
  2. To develop algorithms for on-line estimation and learning of foodstuff parameters, especially unobserved internal parameters such as foodstuff structure, temperature and moisture content.
  3. To develop oven actuation mechanisms which appropriately apply knowledge of optimal cooking profiles to measured or estimated foodstuff values and which uses this to control through-material temperature and moisture.

 

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