Tech Digest daily roundup: Robot chef taught to chew and taste food

Robot chef tastes scrambled eggs and tomatoes. Image: University of Cambridge

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a bot to imitate the human processes of chewing and tasting, in order that they might eventually be able to produce food humans will not only enjoy – but which can also be tweaked according to individual tastes. If the robots learn what does and does not taste good, making them better cooks, they could also be useful in the development of automated or semi-automated food preparation. When food is chewed, people notice a change in taste and texture…The robot, which has already been trained to make omelettes, tasted nine different variations of scrambled eggs and tomatoes at three different stages of the chewing process. Sky News 

Meta, which owns FacebookInstagram, and Oculus, is reportedly planning to launch four new virtual reality (VR) headsets by 2024. The first is the Project Cambria headset, a more powerful device than its current Quest device, which will launch in September. A new version of it will then come in 2024. The first version of the headset will reportedly cost above $799, according to a Meta spokesperson quoted by The Information. Features include high-resolution image quality for typing emails or code within a virtual reality environment. The headsets will run Meta’s Android OS and be as possible as a low-end laptop, but the main point of the headset would be that it is able to do full-colour passthrough that would allow it to perform mixed reality experiences. Independent 

I’m in a large and colourful wooden-floored room. There’s a man standing next to me, and a bird is at my feet. Suddenly both disappear. It sounds like the start of a surreal dream, and in a way it is, because none of it is real. I was actually standing on a high-tech digital stage at Portsmouth University. Tools used by video game developers and movie makers to create top-quality virtual content are now available to businesses and charities at the multi-million pound centre, which launches on 4 May. The Centre for Creative and Immersive XR (extended reality) has received more than £5m in funding, including a £3.6m government grant. BBC

Government and business accounts on Twitter could face “a slight cost” to stay on the social media platform, Elon Musk has said. The prospective Twitter owner and Tesla boss said the site would “always” be free to “casual users”. Mr Musk agreed a £34.5 billion takeover deal with the Twitter board last month, and said at the time that as well as improving the free speech principles of the site, he was looking forward to “enhancing the product with new features”.  His takeover is expected to be completed later this year. Yahoo!

Twitter’s pending acquisition hasn’t put a freeze on all product testing, as we’ve seen hints of the upcoming edit tweets feature leak out. And, now, the company has announced a limited test for Twitter Circle. It’s a function that’s similar to Instagram’s Close Friends feature or, if you’ve been around for a while, Google Plus. Twitter Circle will let users pick up to 150 people to join their Circle, including followers and non-followers alike. Then, when they feel like tweeting without sharing to the masses, they simply pull up the Choose Audience menu while writing a tweet and choose Twitter Circle instead of Everyone. The Verge

Chris Price
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