Imagine the kitchen of the future. Does it include robotic arms preparing a multi-course meal for the family or a stovetop that turns off as soon as fish has been seared? While these innovations may not have arrived quite yet, students that participated in the Future of Cooking Mega Hackathon hosted by FirstBuild cooked up their own products for a smarter kitchen in 33 hours that allow everyone to participate in meal preparation. Check out some of the award-winning innovations.

YOUuniversal Chef

The TI Technology Winner, the YOUuniversal Chef opens up the kitchen for the diverse ergonomic requirements of a variety of chefs including the elderly or those in wheelchairs. The solution is a flat induction stove top that is height-adjustable.

To make this cooking device possible, the team participated in a TI hands-on workshop that taught them how to run the compiler, call API’s, and take advantage of the BeagleBoard  ecosystem. Using this new knowledge, two BeagleBone Blacks, a TI SensorTag, and their ingenuity, the team developed a cook top that was impressive both technically and aesthetically. Key features:

  • Uses a handheld wireless sensor and web API, to lower and raise at the press of a button to fit the chef’s needs.
  • Manages controls for both cook top and range hood
  • Enables existing cooktops to be retro-fitted

YOUniversal Chef takes cooking surfaces to the next level.

TI Technology used:  SimpleLink™ SensorTag kits with Bluetooth® low energy and BeagleBone Black.


Like the YOUniversal Chef, Marco aims to make the kitchen accessible for all. The team provided a sensory exploration of the kitchen for the visually impaired; this means that the stove can both sense the approach of a user and correspond with the user. The responsive system took first place at the event and allows consumers to interact with their kitchen by:

  • Sensing users approach to announce which burners on the stove are hot
  • Measuring out ingredients by weight
  • Setting the temperature of the range
  • Turning off the cook top or any burners left on by accident
  • Asking for tips and tricks on cooking

Marco is the ultimate sous chef.

TI Technology used: MSP CapTIvateTM Development Kit based on the MSP430FR2633 MCU and sensor boards for detecting proximity sensing. The team’s use of the CapTIvate design center gave them drag-and-drop software to quickly develop their application. The gesture and proximity sensor boards were a perfect fit for alerting the system upon user’s approach and provided an easy hardware interface.


In the quest to open up the kitchen of the future to all, let’s not forget about our furry four-legged friends. This team created the FitBowl for dogs using a smart tag that connects to an app on your phone. The bowl automates the delivery of fresh food and water and provides pet parents with real-time analytics on the health of their pet. This includes:

  • Calculating food and water consumption
  • Tracking activity
  • Recirculating and filtering water continuously (and upon the approach of the pet)

FitBowl helps to ease the health concerns of all pet parents.

TI Technology used: SimpleLink™ SensorTag with Bluetooth® low energy

While there may not be robotic chefs prepping meals at the press of a button, it’s not as hard to imagine after seeing the strides that students are making in next-generation kitchen technology in only 33 hours.

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