Live: 300+ Best Black Friday Deals Live: Black Friday TV Deals BF Deals Under $25 BF Deals Under $50 5 BF Splurges 8 BF Must-Haves 15 Weird Amazon BF Deals BF Cheat Sheet
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Ramen robots invade Japanese restaurant

A noodle shop in Japan has employed robots to make your soup. Next, they'll assume your identity and steal your car.

Udon combo in Tokyo
Udon combo in Tokyo. Dave Rosenberg

Just when you thought your noodle waterslide was the height of Japanese food gadgetry, a ramen shop in Minami-Alps, Yamanashi, Japan, is gaining popularity for its robot chef.

Technically the robot doesn't make the noodles, instead assembling the bowl, including the customized flavor options. Customers place orders on a computer, customizing aspects such as the levels of soy sauce and salt, and richness of the soup. Shop owner Yoshihara Uchida says there are 40 million different flavor permutations.

The noodles themselves are cooked by a human, with the robot creating a perfectly blended soup which is then delivered to the human chef via a conveyor belt, who adds the noodles and toppings. The whole process takes only about two minutes, a minute shorter than instant cup noodles.

The robot was completed in December 2008 after five years of trial and error, including computer crashes caused by spilled soup. Uchida wants to mass produce the robot in the future and "leave my mark out there," which means one day you too can have a ramen robot.

Previous and related noodle news:
Gadget watch: Noodle waterslide
The best of Japanese food technology: Ramen Radar
Woman eats 383 bowls of soba in 10 minutes (video)

Follow me on Twitter @daveofdoom.