Posted by: robotnews | April 5, 2007

The Wine-tasting Robot


As we all know, robots are now becoming more helpful in humans daily life. This wine-tasting robot could discriminate between wine types. However, the test condition is still limited: the sensor has to touch surface of the wine and it must be clean.
The robot then will work by transmitting infrared rays at the wine and degree of absorption of certain wavelengths would be measured by the robot. According to the absorbance spectrum obtained from the wine, the robot could estimate the most components of the wine, such as sugar and fat. Then this information will send to the database it had, the database eventually will tell the robot what kind of wine it is. The robot now finishes it tasting job.
Tasting wine is not only hard for human,but also quite chanllenging for robots. This is because the differences in absorbance spectra among different types of wine are really small to differ. The cleanness of the sensor will decide the accuracy of the results.
Hence, the future development for such a robot is to improve the infrared sensor to make it with a wider spectrum that may covers the range from near-infrared rays to the mid-infrared spectrum.

reference:
Yu Zhenyu
U037786A

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Responses

  1. I think this is such an interesting application in robot technology. Imagine one day they were to make it pocket size and we can all bring it to pubs and test the concentration of the long island… ><
    Perhaps it can be used in drug testing to ensure the components are correct etc.

    Sim Jian Ping
    U036080A

  2. Lin Changjie U036185J

    Well, for me I think taste itself is very subjective as different people have different requirements. Over relying on too much scientific data like the sugar & fat content seems to bring away the joy of eating? Just my thoughts 😀

  3. Interesting…
    It seems those professional wine-tasters will have a hard time to keep their jobs in the future.

    Xue Chao
    U037176U

  4. Wu Ronghua U036423A

    i think tasting wine is more of an enjoyment thing right? why the need for robot to help taste wine? i rather drink the wine myself. =)

  5. It seems to me that this robot needs to be pre-programmed with the various identities of the wine in its database before it can match and identify the wine with its components. Agree with JP’s comment that it might be more of a robot to test the components of the wine rather than as a wine connoisseur.
    Wine connoisseurs out there, relax, this robot will have a long way to go before they can replace you.

    Choo Teck Kwang Adrian U036224U

  6. Osbert Poniman U037052H

    I just found something similar to this. This is actually more general technology which is used to analyze the fat, protein, moisture, sugar, alcohol, and other components in food. The technology is called NIR (Near Infrared Reflection) Technology. This technology targets machine at companies who process dairy products, meats, sausage, butter, etc so that health-related concerns can be addressed.
    This is the link of NIR technology:
    http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/news/ng.asp?n=61423-spectroscopy-protein-fat

  7. Well, I just wonder on the whole point of having a robot taste wine, unless it’s to analyze the contents for.. identification purposes? I can’t imagine why someone would want to do that. Doesn’t it spoil the whole notion of enjoying wine?

    But imagine the face of the owner if you say hey I need to let my robot taste your (insert expensive wine name here)

    Chua Chong Han U045816M

  8. This is an interesting concept. Becasue wine tasting, is ultimately dependant on personal preference. By getting robots to do it based on certain emperical formulas, we might actually be able to get more objective unbiased perspectives.

    BUT, its going to be a sad day for us, when robots start drinking our alcohol…. 🙂

    Ranjan
    U036030X

  9. It’s really cute!!!
    Robots are helpful, entertaining,useful,and what else? They can perform everything as good as human, sometimes much better..

  10. by the way, the previous comment is by me!! U036546A Wu Lihua

  11. On the topic of wine, some people will always think about wine only as a source of alcohol. Others will take pleasure in impressing their peers by discerning the vintage of the wine or determining the location of its vineyard. In the presence of wine and their peers, terms such as full bodied, or tannins will occasionally erupt from the mouths of these people. It seems that they take pride in their ability to quantify the seemingly unquantifiable. Well, I shall reserve my comments on whether or not these people actually know what they are doing but I will let it be known that they are often being endearingly referred to as wine snobs.

    On a more personal note, I think I will consider myself to be a wine idiot. You see, if the wine merchant tells me that the bottle of liquid in his hands is a merlot, then I will believe that it is a merlot. If he says that it is cabernet sauvignon, then I will believe it to be a cabernet sauvignon. So you see, there is actually no way for me to know if I am being cheated.

    Well well… If I can get my hands on the wine tasting robot, then I can pay 20 dollars for a wine that costs 20 dollars all the time! The good thing is that the robot does not actually drink the wine. This means I get to drink more!

    If the merchant says the wine is a chenin blanc when it is actually a chardonay, I can now call him a nincompoop. That, or I call the police.

    Brought to you by,
    Nick (U045902U)

  12. Wine tasting is indeed an enjoyable job for human. If only used to identify the components, isn’t NMR easier and cheaper to perform such task?

    I believe the ultimate goal of robotic research should be much more than a fancy idea, but truly improve the productivity, safety or quality of operations.

    Jin Peng

    U036569E

  13. It is interesting to see that it can tell you what wine it is. But would it be able to tell when the wine was made. Because the during of the wine makes a big difference and normally the people as a wine-taster will be able to tell how long the wine has been made. Just some thoughts.

    Li Chao, U037130N

  14. For a robot to do wine tasting is a complex task to say the least.As the author has explained, it is already hard for humans.But one good thing about robots is that it will never have a natural bias towards a certain type of wine and give the results as it is.However, wine tasting sometimes depends on the intrinsic feeling a particular wine exudes and this may be a bit difficult to model in a robot.

    Prakash S/O Yanaprakasam
    U036229B

  15. This is very interesting. From my limited of chemistry, i understand that testing of a chemical substance requires plently of chemical analysis and it is not easy for a chemist for chemically ‘tasted’ a wine and someone managed to do it with a robot. A simple yet brilliant invention indeed.

    By U036419B Jway Kim Soon

  16. Nice, really nice. It can estimate the components of wine.

    But i think professional wine-tasters can still survive, because robot can not tell how it really taste. Even human can not tell the taset sometimes.

    Still, it is a really useful invention.

    By U037121E Liu Pengyin

  17. The robot can only distinguish or classify the wine, it can not taste it anyway. I agree to the previous blogs that tasting itself is very subjective and this should no rely on ROBOTS!

    Khoo Yuan Jin
    U036997M


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