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Food Technology: Robots in Restaurants & Vending Machines that Sell Live Crabs

Today’s two short MSNBC videos are about food technology. Video I shows a restaurant in Jinan China that uses robots to serve food. To me, these robots look no more than just some “moving food carts,” but it is an interesting concept. At least, the restaurant has put itself on the news. I personally like the e-menu concept better.

Video II is about vending machines in Nanjing China that sell live hairy crabs. It seems that technology has allowed us to sell almost anything in vending machines (we talked about selling fresh fruit and vegetables in vending machines before). Isn’t it amazing? Actually, selling live crabs in vending machines is easier than what many people may assume. Crabs are in “habitation” under cold temperature. In Syracuse, I buy live blue shell crabs in the morning and usually keep them in the fridge before I cook them for dinner. They will be alive but remain very “calm” in the fridge. So, it is feasible to sell live hairy crabs in refrigerated vending machines. However, why do Chinese want to buy live crabs? Well, because Chinese can be very sophisticated in their meals and only want “fresh” ingredients. It costs ¥15 RMB (about $2.5 USD) for each live hairy crab that is sold in vending machines.

I guess I need to visit China in the fall for some delicious crabs as fall is the best season for hairy crabs. Before that, I am glad to see the food technology in China. What new food technology do you see?

Video I: Robot-Servers in a Restaurant


Video II: Vending Machines that Sell Live Hairy Crabs

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