King Mongkut Institute of Technology’s Lat Krabang campus has introduced three culinary innovations to enhance the safety of street food and promote tourism, including a robot that cooks barbequed pork.
The institute has also developed cooking courses for beginners and vendors who want to improve the quality, taste and hygiene of street food.
The prototype robotic arm, which was designed by the medical and environmental equipment research lab at the Faculty of Science, can barbeque pork so vendors don’t have to tend the grill all the time and are able to do other things, according to an Associate Professor leading the research.
He explained that the robot was programmed to know how long it takes to cook the meat thoroughly without overcooking.
Another innovation is a fruit vending cart, which is fully equipped with a refrigeration system to preserve the fruit and a water filtering system to ensure that the water used to clean the fruit is hygienic.
The third innovation is the barbeque pushcart, which is equipped with a grill, air filter, water filter, a tank to store wastewater and oil and a solar-powered lighting system.
Pushing smart tourism in Thailand
Thailand’s tourism figures are growing strongly, showing arrivals to the destination increased by 7.5% in 2018, a recent report noted.
The travel and tourism sector is also growing in the country, by 6% last year, but a new report says investment in infrastructure is needed for Thailand to keep on top of the growth of tourism.
The Thailand Future of Tourism report put together by a leading supplier of IT solutions four tourism, the country’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency and the Pacific Asia Travel Association, highlights four areas that can help gear Thailand up for future growth.
Last year, Airports of Thailand unveiled investment of almost $8 billion to triple capacity at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok with the operator saying that it was built for 45 million passengers but arrival has hit 65 million.
The Thailand Towards 2030 report says airports should look at adopting smart technology including more self-service kiosks and automated bag drops.
It adds that the adoption of biometric technologies to help move passengers through the airport would also help.
The tech firm recently piloted technology with Ljubljana Airport enabling passengers to take a selfie alongside passport and boarding card details and have it matched with a photo at boarding to speed up the process.
A second area for development in the study is improving links to and from the airport using different modes of transport. The report suggests integrating airport links with public transport as well as the development of high-speed rail will help.
The report also highlights public-private partnerships to further help improve inner-city transport networks.
Finally, the use of data to avoid over-tourism through real-time analysis and predictive modelling, to help manage volumes, is highlighted as key.
The report points to the Phuket Data Platform where Internet of Things data is combined with open data to predict patterns of movement. The initiative brings data from free hotspots and vehicle licence plates using CCTV cameras to help understand visitor demographics.
These sorts of “Smart Tourism” initiatives make for a more seamless experience for travellers and help destinations understand how visitors are moving about, according to the report.