Newest Chinese invention: noodle maker robot

Cui has been in the news recently.


No, that’s not him, keep reading.

Cui Runquan of Hebei can’t make noodles. Specifically, he has trouble making shaved noodles. This is a kind of noodle made by whittling or scraping chips of pastry off a lump of it. If you can’t picture it, don’t worry, there’s a video.

Translated From iFeng:

Cui Is from Dongguan village in Yangyuan County, was born in 1976, and has a junior high school education. His noodle shop is rented, but the inventions in it are his own. He never thought his noodle making robot would be awarded a Chinese patent, or that it was the first in the country. (…)

“Making noodles is hard work, and the person doing it can never leave the pot. It’s stinking hot all day, sometimes you just drenched in sweat, and you can’t stop a few drops falling into the pot, which isn’t very hygienic. The noodle making robot stops this from happening, and since it simulates a real person, the noodles are all uniform in length, thick in the middle and thin on the edge, with edges and corners, deep colour, and a smooth palate. Much better then the machines you buy in the supermarkets."

After Spring Festival, Cui went alone to a factory in Beijing sold some shares in his invention, and made final preparations for production. Cui said that by the end of February his product would be available for wholesale. “My greatest wish is that ordinary people all over the country be able to eat these  time-saving noodles."

In the video you can see the robot in action. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

One thing that does require explanation is his other invention, which is mentioned in the video after the robot.

He has refitted the chimney for his cooker to heat up interior of his restaurant. He  doesn’t mention any noxious fumes he might be subjecting his customers to, but the reporter says he saves 1400 RMB on heating every winter, a considerable sum in China. Ingenious. The kind of guy who ends up a self made millionare.

I think Cui’s story  says a lot about modern China. I can’t imagine anyone I know, not in Australia anyway, whipping up a robot in their back room to help them do anything. It looks a little goofy, but gets the job done, which is something the Chinese appreciate. They (We?) are a very practical people.

There’s a kind of fervour in the air there, stuff is always happening. The intensity in which people live their lives is what I picture whenever I think back on the time I spent there. I miss it the most, even though it was a little frustrating at times.

  1. Both Samantha Brown and Anthony Bourdain have covered two different bamboo pole noodle makers in their respective Hong Kong episodes for The Travel Channel. The Anthony Bourdain one makes me near tears every time I see it. I love Hong Kong and Hong Kong people and it really hurts to see how hard it is for people to make money especially poignant because of how China was left after the Japanese invasion and how it affected the outlook and happiness of all subsequent generations. So much effort goes into handmade Chinese noodles but the price is not making the noodle makers rich meanwhile we, in the First World, work much less for more money and more comfortable lifestyle. I just watched the Madagascar episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and I wish I could invent a money maker like Microsoft Windows and just use the money to jewel box every piece of the Third World. If someone told me after three decades that all my business successes had to be turned over to charity. I would just be happy that I achieved my business ambitions and need to be creative. I would have WON the race because I did it my way and it turned out to be the best and then a higher power takes the profit for a good cause. It wouldn’t discourage me from creating. I wonder if this is already happening with established companies.

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