The kitchen is where robotics will flourish next, and Zimplistic founders – Rishi Israni and Pranoti Nagarkar – have laid down the path with Rotimatic for further tech evolution in this space.

We have all heard of the more or less ubiquitous rice cooker. Most South Asians have now become accustomed to using the numerous variants of the kitchen appliance for cooking one of the most popular stables of their diet – rice. The other favorite food staple of South Asians, roti, however, is still largely made by hand. And although the process of making this flour-water-oil flatbread may seem simple, it is quite the task. For someone who is not an expert in the art of making rotis, the traditional method of doing it is complex enough for them to choose quickly choose ready-made alternatives. Zimplistic’s Rotimatic – a fully-automatic roti maker perfect for domestic use – has emerged as a game-changer for how we are accustomed to preparing the age-old recipe. 

Rotimatic simplifies daily life

Pranoti Nagarkar, Founder and Co-CEO of Zimplistic, recalls her earliest memories of rotis being that of her mother laboring away in the kitchen to bring fresh rotis right off the pan to the table. Similar to most people who shoulder the responsibility of cooking chapatis, phulkas, or rotis, Pranoti recollects her mother too compromised on the time she could have spent with her family at the dinner table. Sadly, without investing adequate time and attention, the effort put into yielding soft and fluffy rotis goes to naught. 

To understand this better, one has to consider the actions that go into making a roti. The dry and wet ingredients are carefully measured out in the correct proportion of the mix. The water added should preferably be of a certain temperature (warm) to facilitate kneading of the dough to the ideal consistency. After a period of rest, this dough is then evenly flattened into thin discs which are then roasted in a pan or directly over a flame. When cooking for an average of four people, the time taken for rotis could be well over half an hour. Rotimatic notably compresses this time down to a few minutes using automation.

The inception of Rotimatic

Pranoti experienced the struggle of making rotis daily first-hand and decided it was about time the roti-making process got a technological update. Thus, the combined efforts of Pranoti and Rishi came about Zimplistic’s Rotimatic that recreates all the steps. Beyond the act of pouring flour, water, and oil into their designated compartments in the machine and pushing a few buttons, Rotimatic does not require any further user intervention.

Rotimatic is equipped with AI and IoT

Rotimatic is a high-tech robot with its 10 motors, 15 sensors, and 200 moving parts controlled by a 32-bit microprocessor. Its highlights though are the AI and IoT features that allow it to be paired with iOS or Android applications. Synced devices such as smartphones enable users to operate it through the installed Rotimatic app from afar. The automatic roti maker also automatically downloads updates for its software as and when those are released in the cloud. Rotimatic thus evolves and expands its gamut of functions and ability to troubleshoot. 

Rotimatic is a hit with the masses

Time is money, and any means that affords us more of it has a thick chance of winning the hearts of people. Rotimatic does exactly this and more. The device shrinks the time taken to make rotis by the traditional method which is rarely less than 30 minutes at least to a matter of a few minutes. It takes about eight minutes to warm up and then continues to give warm, fluffy, fresh flatbread in less than two minutes a unit. 

Rotimatic uses its sensors to measure and dispense the exact amount of ingredients required in the dough mix and kneads it to the ideal consistency. The dough is then moved by a mechanical arm to another part of the appliance where it is evenly flattened into a disc and then roasted on heating plates. A steaming golden-brown roti is slid out on a tray at the front bottom of the Rotimatic at the end of the process. One can specify the oil content, thickness of the flatbread, level of roasting, and the number of rotis to be made in a batch. Every roti made in a batch has consistent quality.

The other factor that is a hit with users is the ease of maintenance of the appliance. It is very simple to clean, and given its IoT feature, it does not have to be carried to a service station any time there is an issue with its performance.

Rotimatic is here to stay

As our lives continue to get more hectic we will continue to look for ways to economize the time we spend on each task. An appliance like Rotimatic is a boon for professionals and those who wish to do more with their time and explore their interests. Kitchen robotics is the next big thing and Zimplistic’s Rotimatic has strengthened the foundation for new-age innovations to build on.

Werner Vogels’ reaches start-up hotbed Singapore and an intriguing conversation about future-tech with innovators Pranoti Nagarkar and Rishi Israni ensues. 

Tech-centric shows are a great way to stay up to date about what’s new in the tech world, the “Now Go Build with Werner Vogels” series on Amazon is one that has become a raging hit. In each episode, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels interviews innovators and gives an insight into the dynamic and rapidly evolving world of AI and cloud computing.

A recent episode of the show focused on Singapore-based husband and wife team of entrepreneur/tech expert and mechanical engineer, Rishi Israni and Pranoti Nagarkar – the inventors of Rotimatic. The kitchen robot is poised to change the way the world cooks one of its oldest recipes – the simple flour-and-water flatbread. 

The idea behind Rotimatic

It is no wonder that Vogels has chosen to explore the story of Rotimatic. The AI and IoT-enabled appliance are the only one of its kind and leagues ahead of its predecessors in the category of electronic flatbread or roti-makers. It is an antithesis to the notion that automation is eroding traditions since what it does is it implements technology to hold on to norms most dear to us.

What Pranoti and Rishi have come up with is an efficient system to replicate the process of making a roti (and other forms of flatbread such as tortillas and pizza base) in a completely self-governed machine. It aims to address issues that compromise our standard of living, be it is managing a work-life balance or health. As pointed out by Israni, “seventy percent of illnesses are lifestyle disease-related, and they are primarily related to the type of food you consume” and “one-third of the world’s food is wasted”. Rotimatic is the duo’s first step toward realizing their vision of a fully intelligent kitchen that will ensure a healthy diet for its users and minimize wastage of food at the same time.

Amazon CTO Visits Rotimatic Office
Amazon CTO Visits Rotimatic Office
The tech behind Rotimatic

Rotimatic is the amalgamation of the necessity to optimize time and expert knowledge in cutting-edge technology. Its prototype was first introduced in 2009 by Zimplistic. The home food robot has machine learning built into it, can connect with the wifi and sync with other smart devices, troubleshoot when needed, and update its software. The Rotimatic’s corresponding app will allow it to be operated from remote locations as well. 

Pranoti and Rishi Discussing about Rotimatic with Amazon CTO
Pranoti and Rishi Discussing Rotimatic with Amazon CTO
A quick overview of the benefits of having an intelligent roti-maker

The software makes it possible to track the number of rotis made using Rotimatic across the globe, customer satisfaction, and machine errors. This information helps the company prioritize issues that need to be addressed and fixed first.

Rotimatic collects relevant data from every roti it makes. This includes information concerning the content and quality of the food being prepared by the appliance. Users are also urged to rate the user experience on the display screen of the robot at the end of every cycle to help upgrade the system. Rotimatic gives a data-driven, data-backed understanding of the operations of the machine. 

A labor of love

However, its transition from a hardware-only device to incorporating a major software component was not an overnight one. Years of research following the realization of how complicated servicing the product would be led to implementing AWS and IoT into the Rotimatic design. The benefits of this upgrade have been evident from the first attempt to get the service right and it has facilitated collecting further data to improve the appliance model. The software is now crucial to extend the device into a platform that’s capable of making multiple varieties of flatbread. 

Is the world prepared to give their kitchen an AI and IoT makeover

Clearly, yes. Rotimatic is a device that instantly frees up about an hour from kitchen duty, especially for women who have been playing the part of homemakers. Making flatbreads of any sort is a cumbersome task and the kitchen robot takes the entire process into its stride and compresses it to a matter of minutes. The user decides the sort of bread they wish to prepare, which type and brand of flour to utilize, oil content, the thickness of the rotis, the number of rotis to be made in a batch, and the extent of roasting each roti should undergo.  

Compared to the traditional method of making rotis, using the Rotimatic is ridiculously simple, and helps keep pace with a world that is rapidly turning to automation. Rotimatic is available on the official website as well as on Amazon.

With the growing number of options of roti-making machines, it is crucial to do detailed research on the available contraptions before taking one home. 

Flatbreads, or rotis as they are commonly known in India and its neighboring countries, is a staple food for millions. Consequently, as youngsters migrate from their countries – be it to pursue academics or a career – they take a part of their culture with them. Pressed for time yet keen to enjoy the familiar taste from back home, they are quick to turn to automatic roti-makers to significantly cut down the effort put into making a traditional Indian flatbread.

Types of Roti Makers

Roti-making machines have been around for quite some time, and have evolved with the advancements in technology. Depending on the degree of automation they provide, the most popular ones in the market right now can be divided under the following categories: 

1. Manually Operated Roti Makers:
Manual Roti Maker
Manual Roti Maker

A random google search on Roti or Chapati makers would enlighten you on the number of manually operated Roti makers available for sale online as well as in the market. Reputable kitchen appliance brands, such as Prestige, Bajaj, and Panasonic to name a few, have launched at least one model of a manually operated roti maker. The process of making a roti using these involves kneading the dough to make extra soft dough balls. These are pressed into thin discs between the heated lid and pan of the appliance where it puffs on reaching the optimum temperature within minutes.

2. Semi-Automatic or Fully Automatic Roti Makers:
Semi-Automatic Roti Makers
Semi-Automatic Roti Makers

Semi-automatic or fully automatic variants of roti makers are popular as well. Some of them require human supervision and involvement which varies from minimal to average. However, these semi-automatic or automatic roti makers are huge in size and capacity. They are designed to operate in places where rotis need to be manufactured in large quantities as they dole out 600-900 rotis per hour, and are ideal for restaurants. Therefore, these roti makers would not fit into an average kitchen as they are massive and perhaps too expensive to suit the purpose.

3. Automated/Smart Roti Makers
Smart Roti Maker - Rotimatic
Rotimatic – Smart Roti Maker

The new addition in the smart world of smartphones, smartwatches, and smart gadgets is a smart roti maker. Unlike the other variants, this category has just one player in the market going by the name Rotimatic Roti maker. The device is enabled with Artificial Intelligence and IoT. It is designed to upgrade and autocorrect its functions as per requirements. 

Rotimatic is built to become a fundamental kitchen fixture for those who have busy schedules or just want to dedicate more time to leisure activities. It is the size of an average microwave and can easily fit into a household kitchen. 

The process of making a perfectly baked roti using this automatic roti maker is simple. All you have to do is pour the ingredients and press a few buttons. Rotimatic will dish out fresh rotis for you in less than 90 seconds.

A quick comparison of roti makers:

Take a simultaneous look at various features of roti makers currently available in the market in the data compiled underneath:

It is important to not hoard unnecessary gadgets. However, it is also equally important to wisely choose the ones that make our lives easy by cutting down on the effort, hassle, maintenance cost, cost of installation, and energy consumption. Since roti makers are an investment, it always pays to pick one after thorough research on it.