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More, Better, Faster Sushi? Call In A 'Sushi Bot'

Wired reports that "sushi bots" were among the eye-catching products at the World Food and Beverage Great Expo, which just wrapped up in Tokyo.

At the expo, a company called Suzomo showcased a countertop machine that can make 3,600 rice mounds per hour. Another bot can put together 300 medium-sized sushi rolls an hour.

A company video explains how a sushi bot can make a difference in your life:

"It is true a skilled chef has trained for a long time," a Suzomo representative says. "However with Suzomo's sushi-making machines, everyone can make stable-quality sushi very easily."

There's no price yet for the 20-pound devices. But they are reportedly about 10 times more productive than the fastest sushi chef out there.

Suzomo came up with the first sushi bot in 1981. But Wired points out other companies are now making maki machines, including one named "Robotic Sushi."

And speaking of food-oriented robots, this seems like a good time to report the launch of a cupcake vending machine last month in Los Angeles. Sprinkles bakery developed the machine, equipped with a robotic arm to safely move single boxed cupcakes around, to make cupcakes available 24/7. Recent news reports suggest it has been popular thus far and will be expanding into other cities.

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Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.