The base of BurritoB0t is a 3D printer – instead of printing objects out of ABS, it squirts precise amounts of condiments in predetermined patterns. The robot requires a little human assistance, a person will have to lay out the tortilla and rice and close the burrito when BurritoB0t is finished – it simply takes care of the crema, salsa and guacamole. Marquez’s robot is controlled via an app that lets customers select the precise amount of the aforementioned condiments that they want to put on their burrito.
Manriquez explained his motivation for building his Tex Mex printer:
Burritob0t is a platform for rapid prototyping and tracing the source of food in our lives to reveal hidden issues revolving around fast food: labor practices; environmental consequences; nutritional values. Mexican fast food is emblematic of the assembly line, mass produced era of modern consumables – appropriating the authenticity of the ethnic food sensibility it purports to embody while masquerading as an edible like substance. Because the burrito is a mass market consumable, it lends easily as a way for examining and stimulating discussion on various aspects of the food industry including: how and where our food is grown, methods of production, environmental impact, cultural appropriation and perhaps most importantly – what our food means to us. By parodying the humble burrito’s ingredients and methods of production we can shed light on these exogenous factors and interconnected systems surrounding the simple burrito.
Granted most people are not going to be prepared to spend more than a thousand dollars to build a burrito printer, but it could be a fun sort of thing to have in a college dorm, a hacker space, or anywhere else that you might find hungry people with a hankering for burritos.