No-one flips their own pancakes anymore

Hands up if you ate pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday? Keep your hand up if you built a pancake-flipping, servo-easing robot to cook for you. The only hand still up should be YouTuber Kevin McAleer’s, Kevin being the brains behind this bot.

Watch the robot chef trying its very best to catch that pancake in the pan after flipping it

This teeny robot has two arms controlled by servo motors, with a spatula in one hand and a frying pan in the other. The frying pan features a tiny faux pancake which the chef dutifully tries to flip. From what I can make out, the spatula is entirely decorative.

bright yellow 3d printed boxy bodied chef holding a spatula and a frying pan. looks a bit angry
I’d definitely have tipped the chef more than 50p

Affordable servo control

The two servos Kevin used in this build cost less than £20 combined, and the big party piece controlling them, Pimoroni’s Servo 2040, is also nice and affordable at £24. Servo 2040 has our RP2040 chip at its core, so you don’t need separate microcontroller and servo driver boards; it will fit neatly into smaller robot builds like Kevin’s pancake flipper. You can fiddle it to drive up to 30 servos at once with some clever wiring, and other features include addressable LEDs and on-board voltage and current sensing.

Nifty tech built on RP2040

Teeny 3D printed parts

Kevin warns that the 3D printed parts are so delicate you might break them while pulling them off the printer bed. The chef’s arms, head, hat, and cooking utensils are all individually printed, as well as its main body, and you can download the STLs to print them all in the comfort of your own maker space from Have a scroll around after you land on that link to find the code, wiring info, and a nice succinct explanation of what servo easing actually is. In short, servo easing makes the motion of servo motors smoother: in the case of this robot chef, that could mean the difference between a sloppy, eggy mess on the stove and a perfectly flipped pancake.

Ever so fiddly

*Disclaimer: Kev’s robot can only flip a tiny 3D printed pancake-shaped disc, which you should not eat. I will be awarding eleven house points to the first person who can recreate this robot design, tweaked to flip real pancakes. If the pancakes are only fingernail-sized, then you can eat 4000, right?

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