Supporting the work of artists and designers since 1998, the Dutch Design Week pushes them to “to challenge their comfort zones”, rewarding revolutionary ideas and innovative solutions for the future.
And the Winner is… SAM, the Autonomous Soda Maker
The winner of 2017 Future Food Design Awards comes from the Netherlands: the design duo Marie Caye & Arvid Jense who conquered the jury with SAM, The Symbiotic Autonomous Machine, a hybrid robot that combines their technological expertise with their critical thinking.
"Meet SAM. If you ask him for a soda, he will calculate the costs and – after payment – will pour you a drink that he produces all by himself from water kefir grains."
The unusual robot is a sort of small-scale automated food production, which employs water kefir grains to make an organic drink. The soda maker is completely autonomous: it manages electricity, recipes, water, grains and is conceived as an independent entity able to create a fermentated cocktail.
And more: “SAM produces at cost, reimburses debt and pays bills as a single economic entity with yet no legal status.”
Legal rights for machines?
This hybrid robot raises questions on machine rights and ethics, and on the collaboration between man and robots around food. How much can a machine impact our everyday life?
In an era in which the importance of machines is growing, Marie Caye & Arvid Jense wonder if SAM, a transparent robot that makes and sells soda, could have civil liberties and play a recognized role in our society.
“When an entity is capable of entirely managing itself and of financially supporting itself without any interference of human control, it can claim freedom of ownership. Its physical embodiment may belong entirely to the entity after it has reimbursed its investment value to its maker.” states the designers.
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