Cheers: The perfect syrup mix from the SiroBot
The smell of melted cheese is in the air. How could it not be - here in Switzerland, more precisely in Hall 4.2b. It goes without saying that the Alpine country is bringing its classics to Grüne Woche: Emmentaler, Appenzeller, Gruyère, fondue cheese. And of course there will be hot raclette baguettes.
But the biggest crowd forms right at the entrance to the hall in front of a syrup bar. The bartender at the counter is not a human, but a robot: a white machine, like those found in car factories, for example. The machine consists of two swivel arms and a gripper and is mounted on a grey table. On the shelf behind it are 20 colourful bottles of syrup, with bottles of still and sparkling water to the side.
Courteous and tidy
"Is that free?" asks a fifth-grader, two friends in tow. "Yes," replies Alexandre Revaz, whose company Workshop 4.0 built the SiroBot. "Oh!" shouts the boy: "Janina, come here!" And ten children are already standing in front of the counter. Difficult choice at the tray: which of the 20 flavours of syrup should it be? Apricot, mango, strawberry or elderflower? Still or sparkling water? The robot picks up a glass, places it in a holder, turns to the shelf, picks the right bottle, pours, puts the bottle back, then pours in water - and finally brings the glass with the syrup mixture to the guest at the front of the counter. The only thing missing is a bow, this last gesture seems so obliging.
"When a bottle is empty, the SiroBot also puts it away, gets a new bottle from the fridge and screws on the spout," explains Alexandre Revaz. "Our company normally integrates AI robots into Swiss industrial plants. But we wanted to do something cool for the public." Last year, Workshop 4.0 was already at the Green Week with a raclette robot. So this year it's syrup. Because much more syrup is drunk in Switzerland than in Germany, explains Revaz. If you've acquired a taste for it, you can buy Morand syrup from Valais at the "World of Chocolate" stand opposite.
Cows that decide for themselves when they are milked
The Netherlands doesn't just have cheese in its luggage either. To promote agritourism and holidays in the countryside, the Land of Food pop-up museum can be visited in Hall 18: All twelve provinces have selected a food product that is typical of their region and a beacon of hope for the food of the future. The products are displayed in showcases and briefly explained. If you want to find out more, scan the QR code. Overijssel, for example, presents Nedersoja yoghurt: a plant-based yoghurt for which soya plants are being grown in the Netherlands for the first time.
Kiwis have also recently started growing in Holland: the Nieuw Slagmaat plantation in Utrecht makes jam and kiwi wine from their fruit. Friesland explains the principle of natural milk and how cows in the pastures decide for themselves what they eat and when they are milked. Other topics include: Bitter bales made from field beans, Karma Kebab and sustainable potatoes thanks to precision farming.