One of the most intriguing aspects of Japanese culture is sado, the art of making tea, which has been classed as one of the nation’s three classical arts of refinement, along with kado (flower arrangement) and kodo (incense appreciation).
It can take years for students to master the finer details of sado, which include ritualised movements and proper whisking of the tea, but for one creative group called aNo Lab, it’s an art that’s fit for automation, and they’ve set out to prove it with a robot called the Sado Robo 151A.
Take a look at the tea ceremony robot in action below:
First, the robot is activated via the user’s smartphone, prompting it to pour hot water into a tea bowl using the same type of wooden ladle used in traditional tea ceremonies.
Then, another section springs into action, carefully filling a wooden spoon with powdered green tea, which is then flicked several times to ensure the correct amount is used.
The powder then goes into the cup and a bamboo whisk comes down to combine the ingredients together. After almost 20 seconds of whisking, the tea is ready to be served. As the cup is rotated to face the guest in the proper fashion, a separate section pops up to reveal a traditional wagashi Japanese sweet to be enjoyed with the tea, in keeping with usual tea ceremony etiquette.
After watching the whole process, it’s tempting to bow to the robot, just as a tea ceremony guest would do to their host before enjoying the carefully prepared items. The one thing missing from the exchange is a casual conversation between host and guest, but there’s no denying this robot has what it takes to create a delicious bowl of frothy powdered green tea.
It’s taken a while for the robot video to come to everyone’s attention in Japan, but now that it’s on everyone’s radar, people are saying they’re rethinking the art of tea-making and seeing the process in a whole new light. For aNo Lab, who’s yet to reveal any plans for a commercial model, this is exactly what they set out to do, as their aim is to “create products that move people”.
Source: Net Lab
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