British free-range egg brand the Happy Egg Company has developed a machine that turns freshly laid eggs into pancakes, just in time for Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day (Mardi Gras in the US) next week. The company says the Pancake-o-matic machine, shown in this video, was inspired by Aardman's Wallace & Gromit animations, in which Wallace is forever inventing Rube-Goldberg-type contraptions. The device will go on display at the Design Museum later this month.
The brand worked with PR agency Mischief PR and four design engineers from Helix design production, who more than 200 hours to construct the machine and a further 100 to test it. It uses household objects including an old-style gramophone and an electric whisk and features a luxury nest throne for the hen to lay her egg in. After she lays it, the egg rolls down a ramp, and pushes a wooden spoon, which winds up a gramophone. When the music starts, the egg is dropped into a holder on the spinning record, then swung around and cracked into a bowl containing other pancake ingredients. The bowl moves down a conveyor belt where the mixture is whisked and then released slowly into a hot pan. The pancake is cooked for 30 seconds, flipped and placed on a plate.
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