Behold: the burrito of the future, created with precision through an iPhone app.
Have you ever dreamed of a warm, tortilla-wrapped bundle of joy after a long night out or on a bleary-eyed morning, only to find your favorite taco shop closed? Maybe you just have an unhealthy addiction to these penny-saving, bean, meat, cheese, or anything-filled savory and cylindrical meals that will fill you up pronto.
If you can relate, you're in for a treat. The customizable, 3-D Burritob0t prototype will print your dream burrito ingredients straight onto a tortilla. The invention is the work of interactive designer Marko Manriquez, who created the project while studying at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and hopes to bring it to life with a Kickstarter campaign.
Manriquez calls his Burritob0t "Tex-Mex 3D Printing." The b0t features disposable syringes to print ingredients including beans, rice, cheese, sour cream, corn, guacamole, and of course salsa picante. As long as it's in paste form, any ingredient can be attached to the printer.
The machine is connected with a smartphone app, which offers the burrito-lover flexibility in controlling the meal. The user selects the level of each ingredient according to a numbered scale. The app enables Manriquez to track user taste preferences in a database and visualize the data.
"The Burritob0t has the potential to revolutionize the way we engage with food, in the same way a hot plate, a blender, or a mixer have in our recent past," says Manriquez. "By creating an open-source, DIY version of the Burritob0t, I am aiming to put the power in the hands of the consumer. With the Burritob0t in your kitchen, you can create more meals in less time.”
Manriquez is using his machine to question the food industry's assembly line mentality, especially when it comes to fast food. "Burritob0t aims to encourage dialogue about how and where our food is grown, methods of production, environmental impact, cultural appropriation, and, perhaps most importantly: what our food means to us," says Manriquez.
Curious to see the Burritob0t in action? Manriquez plans to hold a public demo this summer in New York City. He is also working on a 5-course meal exhibition: each course will be prepared (or printed) from the syringes of a different bot.