Researchers at NEC Systems Technology and Mie University in Japan have come out with a two-foot tall robot that tastes wine.
Not only can the wine-bot identify different types of wine, it can sample fruit and cheese, and make tasteful recommendations. It can even be programmed to check for personalized health hazards, like high salt content.
How can a robot taste?
The wine-bot doesn't taste the wine per say. Rather, the wine-bot has an infrared spectrometer at the end of one arm which does the "tasting" for it.
The infrared spectrometer sends a pulse of low-frequency, or infrared, light at an object, and reads the energy signature of whatever is reflected.
That reflected light gives clues as to chemical composition. In fact, wine-bot can sample wines in the bottle before you decide to buy them. In a test, it could even determine which of three apples was the freshest.