Food industry exhibit in Tokyo features labor-saving robots

Food industry companies facing staff shortages may find some kitchen help at an exhibition highlighting robots with cooking skills.

Almost one thousand companies are showcasing products for food producers and restaurants at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.

One Tokyo-based company has built a robot that can place delicate items such as fried eggs and steamed dumplings into lunchboxes.

The maker says a camera helps judge the texture and slipperiness of each food item, so the robotic arm can handle them appropriately.

Another Tokyo firm is showcasing a device that cooks and cleans up afterwards.

A user punches details into the robotic chef on what is to be cooked and how much.

The user is then prompted to add ingredients into the device's cooking pan when needed.

The maker says it cooks fried rice in about two minutes.

The device is an upgraded compact model that also cleans its own cooking pan in about 15 seconds.

The food industry exhibition runs through Friday.