(19)
(11)EP 3 172 996 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.01.2021 Bulletin 2021/02

(21)Application number: 15197107.4

(22)Date of filing:  30.11.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A47J 27/62(2006.01)

(54)

COOKING SYSTEM

KOCHSYSTEM

SYSTEME DE CUISSON


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
31.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/22

(73)Proprietor: Whirlpool Corporation
Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Pastore, Cristiano Vito
    21025 Comerio (IT)
  • Morandotti, Alberto
    21025 Comerio (IT)
  • Johncock, James C.
    21025 Comerio (IT)

(74)Representative: Spina, Alessandro et al
Whirlpool EMEA SpA Via Carlo Pisacane, 1
20016 Pero (MI)
20016 Pero (MI) (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 532 902
US-A1- 2002 124 737
US-A1- 2014 130 358
WO-A1-2016/039860
US-A1- 2014 086 274
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to cooking system including a kitchen utensil and a household electrical appliance, particularly a cooking hob, such utensil having sensors that are arranged at the handle of the utensil.

    [0002] A utensil of this kind is disclosed by DE102011080246. In such utensil infrared sensors are arranged for determining the position of the utensil on the hob by a plurality of fixed infrared beacons provided on the cooking hob

    [0003] Other "intelligent" kitchen utensils are known in the art. Such known utensils include lance shaped thermometers to be stick in foodstuff as meat and fish, both for pan cooking and for convection oven. Such lance thermometers comes either in the form of simple electromechanical devices or electronic ones, and in some cases they are equipped with wireless communication means with the appliance in order to perform an automatic regulation of the energy sources with the scope of reaching target temperatures.

    [0004] Temperature probes of the type described in EP1239703B1 are combining the temperature information with other physical parameters related to food state, such as conductivity, humidity and vibration.

    [0005] One drawback of such temperature probes is that they are not able to determine the actual action being performed with the utensil itself, thus resulting in the inability to relate the sensed quantities to the use scenario being performed by the user (i.e. the use context). For instance, the information given back by a temperature sensor has a different meaning if captured with the utensil being inserted stationary inside a casserole vs. a case when the utensil is being used to stir a risotto. Even if not manipulated (i.e. zero acceleration), the information read by the sensor is to be interpreted differently if the probe is dipped vertically inside a pot or rather stung horizontally inside a roast. In other words, the knowledge of the position, displacement and acceleration is fundamental for the correct interpretation of the sensor readings.

    [0006] DE3119496 and US6753027B1 try to obviate to those limitations by adopting multiple temperature measuring point along the part of the probe which is going to be inserted into the food. Although the plurality of temperature sensors are mitigating the problem of detecting the very core temperature of the food, they all have the drawback of being unable to detect the actual position of the probe with respect to the food, resulting in largely varying results caused by the degree of expertise of the cook in correctly place the probe. To partially obviate to that limitation, WO2012149997A1 proposes a method to assess probe tip orientation with respect to food surface, based on the relationship among the different temperatures monitored along the different measuring points positioned on the probe itself. However this temperature based determination of the probe inclination might be highly disturbed by food anisotropy (i.e. non uniformity) and spatial gradient in the heat application sources.

    [0007] The activity of cooking food items with cooking hobs entails a high degree of attention from the cook to manually regulate the burner's power output in accordance to the recipe requirements. Such regulation generally occurs based on cook's sensorial perception (visual, olfactory, texture), which is often weakly related with actual food state. Although professional and experienced cooks have developed a great skill in inferring the actual cooking state from the aforementioned sensorial inputs, average cooks are often struggling with the correct interpretation of such sensorial inputs, thus resulting in poorly prepared meals.

    [0008] It's a scope of the present invention to provide the user with a cooking system using a cooking utensil which is able to assist the cook in the process of determining that actual state of the food being cooked by relying on multiple inputs simultaneously and, on the base of the monitored physical states, adapting the cooking hob output to achieve and hold the desired food state. More specifically, it is an object of the present invention, to provide a cooking system in which the kitchen utensil used therein is not merely able to sense known physical parameter such as temperature or humidity, or the position of the utensil and therefore of the cooking utensil, but also determining the tool's use pattern vs. time. Such object is reached thanks to the features listed in the appended claims.

    [0009] According to one of the features of the invention, the kitchen utensil associated with the household electrical appliance is provided with at least a multi-axis accelerometer and/or gyroscope, with the aim of assessing the context of use of the utensil itself. The kitchen utensil according to the present invention can determine and control the food's cooking state based on multiple physical quantities related to food state such as, temperature, food conductivity, and combing that information with probe spatial position and acceleration along multiple axis, in order to understand which action is being performed with the utensil, with the purpose of interpreting and conditionally processing the sensed physical quantities accordingly.

    [0010] It is clear that the kitchen utensil according to the invention broaden the function and the utility of the intelligent kitchen utensils known up to now, helping the user in significantly improving the result of the performed cooking processes. According to a further feature of the invention, the shape of the kitchen utensil according to the invention is such that it can be uses both as a lance, to detect core temperature of for bulky pieces of foods or as a tongs to measure surface temperature of thin food. In one preferred embodiment, the kitchen utensil comes into the form of tongs of the kind normally used by cooks to flip food in the pan, equipped with two or more temperature sensors distributed along the tong arms, up to the vicinity of its tips. In a further preferred embodiment, one of the arms of the tongs could be shaped in the form a lance, to enable the known method based on insertion inside bulky foods.

    [0011] Moreover, according to another embodiment, two or more electrically conductive contacts might be placed in the vicinity of the tongs tips, to monitor food juiciness or water salt content trough the measurement of the impedance across any pairs of those contacts. In another preferred embodiment, the data processing of the signals obtained by the conductivity sensors signals are conditioned to the handling condition identified trough the acceleration and or inclination and or strain information. For instance, the conductivity measurement is used to determine food conductivity only whenever the tool inclination is within a given range, corresponding to the typical orientation being assumed when a used grabs the food with a tong and is otherwise discarded in any other orientation angles.

    [0012] In another example of conditional processing, the conductivity strips would be used to determine the starch concentration in the water contained in a pot where potatoes or pasta are boiled; in this particular condition the kitchen utensil would be positioned in vertical position. Should the orientation of the probe deviate from that particular vertical position by +-10° or more and/or it's acceleration along any axis would exceed 0.1 m/s2, it would imply that the kitchen utensil is manipulated by the user and then no longer being steadily immersed into the water bath. In such case, the monitoring of the conductivity must be suspended until the correct stationary vertical orientation would be achieved again.

    [0013] In all the aforementioned embodiments, in order to provide information on the spatial orientation of the utensil as well as it's trajectory in the space, a multi-axial accelerometer/gyroscope/inclinometer is provided with the tool, particularly in the handle thereof. Such device is coupled with a transmitter that sends to the electronic control unit of the household cooking appliance signals about rotational (inclination) and translational (position) movements of the tool in the space. The matematical processing of those signals allows the determination of the action being performed by the user with the utensil itself (such as stirring, food flipping, food grabbing, or stationary position of the utensil tips inside the pan, for instance during deep frying or stewing).

    [0014] Once the action performed on the food by the user is determined trough the gyro/accelerometer, the temperature/conductivity information is processed with a much higher level of correlation with the food actual state. For instance, during the initial heat-up phase of stir frying, the kitchen utensil would be laid horizontally and steadily (acceleration < 0.01 m/s2), with the tongs tip dipped into the oil film. In that case, the cooking process would be controlled trough a closed loop control of the oil temperature, just relying on the temperature sensor on the very tip of the probe, ignoring the other sensors.

    [0015] Whenever the user would grab the kitchen utensil to stir the food, its inclination and acceleration would deviate from the conditions previously indicated; in such conditions, should the closed loop temperature control be kept working with the same logic, it would results in sudden increase of cooking hob power, caused by the momentarily exposure of the temperature sensors to the ambient air temperature instead of the hot oil. On the other hand, a tool according to the present invention would detect the momentary tool manipulation through the acceleration and or inclination signals and then inhibit the power increase trough a differentiated action, such as a holding the feedback temperature to the last value observed before the manipulation was detected or (alternatively) by holding the delivered power until the proper tool inclination and/or acceleration is achieved again.

    [0016] Furthermore, the discrimination between stir frying and deep frying could be performed by detecting the utensil acceleration combined with the difference between the temperature recorded by the sensor on the very tip (which is surely fully immersed) and the other sensors, which would be immersed only in case of deep frying.

    [0017] In the case of meat searing, the food generally needs to be flipped one or more times, (depending on food category). At the moment of food flipping, the tong arm that used to be in-between the meat and the pot will turn 180° and face the air and vice versa. In order for the temperature controller to keep working correctly, this must be always fed back with the bottom temperature rather than with the sensor in the air. To ensure this, the food flipping would be detected by the accelerometer/gyro trough a sudden change of roll coordinate ≥ 150° (as per spatial coordinate convention shown in Fig.1). Based on such information, the control would switch among the two sensors used for temperature feedback. In addition to that, during food flipping it is normal that the temperatures recorded by the sensors overcome some fairly large spikes, due to momentary change of contact with the food. Thanks to the aforementioned detection of food flipping, it would be possible to reject those temperature spikes, and possibly inhibit the close loop control of the temperature until a stationary state is reached again.

    [0018] In another preferred embodiment, the kitchen utensil is equipped with a strain sensor or an electrical contact to allow the determination of the time when the utensil in the form of a tong is used to grasp the food. Based on the information given by that sensor, the temperature readings could be immediately associated with the surface temperature of the food, whereas the same temperature readings are ignored by the temperature controller whenever said strain and/or position and/or acceleration are indicating that the utensil is not actually in contact with the food but rather just being manipulated outside the cooking area and/or far away from the foodstuff.

    [0019] In another case where meat is seared or grilled, the kitchen utensil wouldn't be stick into the food but rather used as a tongs, periodically used to grab and flip the food.

    [0020] Once again, based on accelerometer information, the very moment when the food is grabbed could be inferred and then a spot measurement of the temperatures would be triggered to detect surface temperature of the food. Moreover, impedance measurements could be triggered to detect surface browning trough the ratio between surface impedance (measured across adjacent contact on the same arm of the tongs) and bulk impedance (measured across contacts sitting on different arms of the tongs). The trigger condition for those impedance and/or temperature measurements would be given by the simultaneous permanence of the kitchen utensil spatial coordinates within predetermined ranges for more than a predetermined time.

    [0021] In the particular case of a tong form of the kitchen utensil according to the invention, an additional force sensor could be employed in order to detect the act of clamping the food and/or an additional angle sensor (preferably located in the tong's hinge) could be used to detect food thickness.

    [0022] It is evident that all the described measurements (temperature, impedance, humidity) would be hardly correlated with food state unless information on the utensil use (i.e. information from the accelerometer and/or gyroscope) is available.

    [0023] The kitchen utensil according to the invention could be advantageously used both to assist pan-cooking, as described, and to assist pot cooking, by laying the utensil vertically across the pot's rim, thus having one end of the tongs immersed in the cooking liquid and the other end exposed to the ambient. Because of the gyro information, the utensil could easily self determine that it is used in this particular mode, by detecting a substantially vertical orientation and a substantially stationary operation (zero acceleration along the vertical axis). When used in such mode, the cooking liquid inside the pot could be regulated at a given temperature by controlling heating element power output by using know closed loop regulation. The measurement of the conductivity across any couple of immersed electrical contacts may give an indication of the ionic content of the cooking liquid, which is directly associable with salt and starch concentration, which are varying during the boiling of pasta or rice. Moreover, in case multiple electrical contacts are placed along the length of the utensil, a determination of the liquid level could be performed by detecting which pairs of contacts are actually shorted by the liquid. The impedance measurement could be aimed at the determination of the resistive part of the impedance or, more advantageously, to the complex impedance, thus allowing the discrimination between galvanically conductive foodstuff (ionic solution) and poorly conductive ones (as pure water or fat tissue).

    [0024] The kitchen utensil according to the invention is configured to communicate with the control unit of the cooking hob by means either of an electrical harness or, more advantageously, trough known radio frequency or optical wireless communication techniques.

    [0025] Other known kind sensors could be advantageously added to the kitchen utensil according to the invention, with the aim of determining more precisely the state of the food. A non exhaustive list of such sensors comprises chemical sensors (pH, electronic tongues), optical sensor (colorimeter, reflectometers), and strain sensors (strain gauges) to detect tongs compression state and food consistency/softness.

    [0026] In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the kitchen utensil interacts with a graphical "man-machine" interface adapted to show the individual steps of recipes, informing the user about the effective actions to be performed and the by progressing in the recipes steps automatically. In other words, the user interface would present behavioral changes conditioned to the kitchen utensil use case, thus resulting in another form of conditional processing.

    [0027] For instance, when the man machine interface instructs the user to turn food, the kitchen utensil would detect the actual gesture and, once performed by the user, it would progress into the next step of the recipe, automatically. Or when the man machine interface is instructing the user to add broth to a risotto, the kitchen utensil would detect the actual pouring of liquid trough a combination of conductivity and temperature, both parameters being altered by the addition of that ingredient.

    [0028] In another embodiment of the present invention, the kitchen utensil comprises a handle, into which an electronic board is inserted. One or more sensors carrying bars are connecting and protruding out to that handle and are designed to contain the temperature and conductivity sensors. In order to ensure economical manufacture and long life, all the electronic parts, including the accelerometer, gyroscope and battery are located in the handle, which is designed with a clinch feature to prevent it from slipping into the cooking pan or pot.

    [0029] In another preferred embodiment, the battery is rechargeable trough a contactless magnetic charger of known type. Independently on the type of battery used (rechargeable or non rechargeable), the battery is designed to ensure, in conjunction with a low power electronic board, a life time of several years without need of battery replacement. These provisions allow the device to be fully sealed from the external environment so that it can be washed either by hand or in a dishwasher.

    [0030] In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the kitchen utensil is split into an handle, which is carrying the electronic module, electrically and mechanically connectable, in a releasable form, to a set of different tips, having the known forms of spoons, forks, tongs, knives and carrying one or more of the aforementioned sensors (like temperature, conductivity, humidity, pH, etc.).

    [0031] Further advantages and features according to the present invention will be clear from the following detailed description, provided by way of non limiting example, with reference to the attached drawings in which:
    • Figure 1 is a perspective view of a kitchen utensil according to the present invention in the form of tongs where spatial coordinates are indicated: rotational (inclination) and translational (position);
    • Figure 2 is a block diagram of the cooking system according to the invention in which the kitchen utensil of figure 1 is used;
    • Figure 3 is a perspective view of the utensil of figure 1 used in connection with a pot and with one arm immersed to control water temperature;
    • Figure 4 is a perspective view of another version of kitchen utensil according to the present invention, in the form of a fork, which is configured to detect also starch concentration trough conductivity;
    • Figure 5 is a perspective view of the utensil of figure 1 used in connection with a pan;
    • Figure 6 is a front view of the user interface with recipe progression indication based on detected gesture performed on the kitchen utensil of figure 1;
    • Figure 7 is a perspective view of another type of a fork-shape kitchen utensil according to the present invention, in which the electronic unit is located in a removable handle;
    • Figure 8 is a partial exploded view of the kitchen utensil of figure 7 where a removable electronic unit is located in a sliding handle and sensors are placed in the utensil tip;
    • Figures 9a-9d are cross sectioned longitudinal views of another version of a kitchen utensil according to the invention;
    • Figure 10 shows a further version of kitchen utensils according to the invention where a sensorized tip is detachably mounted on electronic board;
    • Figure 11 shows gyroscope and accelerometer signals during a flipping movement of the cooking utensil;
    • Figure 12 shows gyroscope and accelerometer signals during a stirring movement of the cooking utensil;
    • Figure 13 shows gyroscope and accelerometer signals during a whisking movement of the cooking utensil;


    [0032] With reference to the drawings, a kitchen utensil shaped as a pair of tongs 10 presents a sensor 12 capable of detecting acceleration and spatial position of the utensil 10, with the term "spatial position" being intended the yaw, pitch and roll angles referred to a fixed reference position. The sensor 12 comprises an accelerometer 12a and a gyroscope 12b which are both power supplied by a battery 14 (figure 2) and which are connected to a microcomputer 16 and to a wireless data transmitter 18.

    [0033] With reference to figure 2, the cooking system S according to the invention comprises, on one hand, the kitchen utensil 10 and, on the other hand, a cooking hob 20 which comprises a wireless data receiver 22 and a control unit 24 configured to drive heating elements for heating cooking utensils placed on a cooking plate 26.

    [0034] In addition to the accelerometer 12a and to the gyroscope 12b, the kitchen utensil 10 comprises other sensors, for instance a strain gauge 12c placed preferably in a zone A where the two pair of tongs are connected, as well as impedances 12d and temperature sensors 12e which are placed in end zones B of the tongs which are designed to become into contact with foods during the cooking process. Also these sensors 12c, 12d and 12e are connected to the microcomputer 16 as well.

    [0035] The control unit 24 of the cooking hob 20 receives signals from the utensil 10, and particularly the signals from accelerometer 12a and gyroscope 12b so that it can elaborate such data and assess by analyzing the trend of these values vs. time how the kitchen utensil is either moved by the user or how such utensil is placed in a stationary configuration (vertical, horizontal, inclined). By elaborating such information, the control unit 24 can interpret in a correct way the other value of further sensors 12c, 12d and 12e, for instance by disregarding such values when they do not fit with the current spatial configuration of the utensil.

    [0036] Moreover the control unit 24 drives the heating elements of the cooking hob 20 according to the way in which the user manipulates and places the kitchen utensil 10. Data received from the accelerometer 12a and/or the gyroscope 12b or any other inclination sensor, are preferably processed by the control unit 24 through known statistical and spectrum analysis techniques (as shown in Fig. 12).

    [0037] According to the present invention, in steady state condition, the spatial orientation of the cooking utensil can be easily obtained from only the accelerometer signals according to the following relationships:

    wherein:

    Pitch (α) is the angle between the X-axis of the Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS in the following) device, which is the mechanical construction comprising said accelerometer and sais gyroscope sensors, and horizontal plane;

    Roll (β) is the angle between MEMS Y-axis and the horizontal plane, and

    Yaw (γ) is the angle between MEMS Z-axis and the horizontal plane.

    Ax, Ay and Az are the accelerometer signals, which in steady state condition represent components of the earth gravity vector on the three axis of the cooking utensil device.



    [0038] The applicant has discovered that, accelerometer and/or gyroscope sensors can be used to identify/recognize any kind of movement of the utensil. Moreover, the applicant has surprisingly discovered that signals sampled from said sensors during certain movements of the kitchen utensil in some specific cooking preparations, are substantially independent on the persons involved in the same preparations.

    [0039] On the other hand, the applicant has also measured that for some specific cooking preparations the data pattern from said sensor(s) is substantially stable among repeated recipes. This allows identifying a specific footprint associated to each cooking preparation. Repeatability of the results makes also much easier an assessment of a cook's behavior.

    [0040] As a non limitative examples, accelerometer and gyroscope signals are used to identify any kind of movement of the utensil, as described in Figures 11, 12 and 13, in connection with stirring, whisking and flipping actions performed by the user with the utensil during food preparation.

    [0041] As can be seen from Figure 11, a flipping gesture is characterized by a wide half wave signal on the X-axis gyroscope signal during which the Z-Axis accelerometer signal changes sign due to gravity. Furthermore, the integral of X-Axis gyroscope signal over the gesture duration must be equal to π radians, because the total rotation performed by the utensil is equal to 180°.

    [0042] Thus, a possible method for detecting a flipping action can be: if the Z-Axis accelerometer signal decreases in absolute value while other accelerometer signals are approximately at zero, the system starts to integrate the X-Axis gyroscope signal until it becomes approximately equal to π radians which identify the flipping gesture. In the case the calculated integral is less or greater than π , it is possible to conclude that the gesture was not a complete flip.

    [0043] In case of stirring and whisking gestures, the recognition of such gestures can be obtained by processing the accelerometer and gyroscope signals with a known Fast Fourier Transform algorithm.

    [0044] In both cases gyroscope and accelerometer result in sinusoidal signals on certain axis. The processing of these signals with an FFT algorithm reveals that the fundamental frequency of the signal which exactly corresponds to the number of turns per second of the cooking utensil.

    [0045] The two gestures can be discriminated not only by the frequency of rotation (higher in case of whisking with respect to stirring) but also by monitoring the rotation axis.

    [0046] In case of stirring the FFT analysis shows significant signal components of the accelerometer only on Y-axis and Z-axis, and significant signal components on all the three axes of the gyroscope.

    [0047] In case of whisking, due to different disposition of the utensil, significant signal components can be detected only on X-axis and Y-axis of accelerometer and on Y-axis and Z-axis of the gyroscope.

    [0048] Furthermore, as shown in figure 3 upon the detection of the vertical position for the cooking utensil from data received from the gyroscope 12b, the control unit 24 can then attribute the values of the temperature sensor 12e placed on one tip B of the tongs to the actual temperature of the content of the pan P.

    [0049] In a similar way, the kitchen utensil 10 shown in figure 4 does provide to the control unit data from at least an impedance sensor 12d in order to assess starch or salt concentration in the cooking utensil Q. Also the almost horizontal configuration of the kitchen utensil 10 shown in figure 5 can be detected by means of the gyroscope 12b and signal from other sensors are interpreted accordingly.

    [0050] According to figure 6, the cooking hob 20 is also provided with a user interface 30 which can inform the user, in an interactive way and on the basis of data received from the acceleration and spatial position sensors 12a, 12b which are the proper act to be performed in the cooking process (for instance in a grilling process the user interface 30 can inform the user of the need to flip the food).

    [0051] With reference to figures 7 and 8, a kitchen utensil 110 in the form of a fork is shown, which is made of two parts 110a and 110b which can be assembled together. The part 110a carries the temperature and impedance sensors 12e and 12d and present longitudinal rails 112 which cooperate with corresponding longitudinal grooves 114 provided in the second part 100b which is also the handle of the utensil 110. Such handle 100b presents a cover 116 for the battery 14 and electrical contacts 118 for electrical connection of sensors 12d and 12e.

    [0052] The fork part 110a of the utensil 110 is also provided with a notch 120 for supporting the utensil 110 on the side wall of a pot or similar cooking utensil. The solution shown in figures 6 and 7 has the advantage of requiring only one "handle" 110b with the electronics that can be coupled with different parts configured to be in contact with the food and having different shapes.

    [0053] Figures 9a to 9d show a similar kitchen utensil 210 where, in correspondence with the handle thereof, is provided with a concave seat 212 for placing a cartridge 214 containing the electronic unit carrying the gyroscope 12b, the accelerometer 12a, the battery 14, the microcomputer 16 and the radio transmitter 18 . The cartridge 214 is provided with an unlock sliding button 216 which is driven by the user in order to unlock the cartridge 214 from the seat 212 (sequence indicated in figures 9b to 9c). The cartridge 214 is also provided with a flat spring 218 which urges the cartridge 214 out of its seat 212 once the user acts in the sliding button 216. For electrically connecting the electronic unit to the sensors on the tip of the utensil 210, the seat 212 is provided with electrical contacts 220 configured to cooperate with corresponding contacts of the cartridge 214 is order to assure electrical connection from sensors provided on the tip of the utensil 210 to the electronic unit by means of wires 220 which are preferably insulated with Kapton.

    [0054] The embodiment shown in figure 10 refer to a kitchen utensil 310 having a soft touch body 312 in different forms (a pair of tongs and a spoon are shown in figure 10) into which an "intelligent" part 314 is inserted. Such part 314 contains a Printed Circuit Board 316, a battery 14 and the accelerometer 12a and gyroscope 12b as well. The fact that the body 312 is made of soft polymeric material has the advantage of assuring insulation of the sensors 12d and 12e placed on the tip of the tongs or spoon. Moreover, between the part 314 and the soft touch body 312 a light source 318 in form of a ring is interposed which can inform the user when the kitchen utensil 310 is transmitting data to the control unit 24 of the cooking hob.

    [0055] Even if the cooking system according to the invention has been disclosed with reference to an electric or electronic cooking hob (for instance an induction cooking hob), nevertheless it can be used also in connection with a gas cooking hob where the heating power is adjusted electronically by means of valves.


    Claims

    1. Cooking system (S) including a kitchen utensil (10, 110, 210, 310) and a household electrical cooking appliance (20), particularly a cooking hob, such utensil having sensors that are arranged at the handle of the utensil, wherein one or more of said sensors is selected in the group consisting of acceleration sensors (12a), gyroscopic sensors (12b), inclination sensors or combination thereof, characterized in that the cooking appliance being provided with a control unit (22, 24) configured to receive data from such sensors and to elaborate said data by analyzing trends of said data vs. time, in order to assess how the kitchen utensil (10, 110, 210, 310) is either moved by a user or how such utensil is placed in a stationary configuration, in order to elaborate information on how the utensil (10, 110, 210, 310) is used and to control the cooking appliance accordingly.
     
    2. Cooking system (S) according to claim 1, wherein the kitchen utensil (10, 110, 210, 310) has an end (B) opposite the handle (110b, 220, 214) where a temperature sensor (12e) and/or an electrical impedance sensor (12d) are placed.
     
    3. Cooking system (S) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the control unit (24) is configured to process data from temperature sensor (12e) and/or impedance sensor (12d) conditional upon data received from acceleration sensors (12a) and/or gyroscopic sensors (12b) and/or inclination sensors.
     
    4. Cooking system (S) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the kitchen utensil (10) is in the form of tongs and presents a strain gauge sensor (12c) in a zone (A) of the utensil (10) opposite the free ends (B) of the tongs.
     
    5. Cooking system (S) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the cooking appliance comprises a user interface (30) configured to provide instructions to the user on the basis of information derived from data captured by acceleration sensors (12a) and/or gyroscopic sensors (12b) and/or inclination sensors.
     
    6. Cooking system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the kitchen utensil (110) presents a handle portion (110b) detachable from the remaining portion (110) of the utensil (110).
     
    7. Cooking system according to claim 6, wherein the handle portion is configured to be attached to different ends (B) of various forms, for instance in the form of spoon, ladle, tong, needle.
     
    8. Cooking system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein it presents a handle with a concave seat (212) for containing a removable cartridge (214) carrying the acceleration sensors (12a) and/or gyroscopic sensors (12b) and/or inclination sensors.
     
    9. Method of controlling a household electrical cooking appliance (20), particularly a cooking hob, comprising the use of a kitchen utensil (10, 110, 210, 310) having sensors, comprising the further steps of collecting data from one or more of said sensors selected in the group consisting of acceleration sensors (12a), gyroscopic sensors (12b), inclination sensors or combination thereof, communicating such data to a control unit (24) of the cooking appliance and characterized in that it comprises the steps of elaborating such data by analyzing trends of said data vs. time in order to assess how the utensil is either moved by the user, or how such utensil is placed in a stationary configuration.
     
    10. Method according to claim 9, wherein the step of assessing how the utensil is used by the user comprises the step of recognizing the position and/or movement of the kitchen utensil (10, 110, 210, 310).
     
    11. Method according to claims 9 or 10 further comprising the step of controlling the cooking appliance (20) of the basis of such elaboration of data.
     
    12. Method according to any of the claims from 9 or 11, wherein it comprises the step of assisting the user by providing instructions though a graphical user interface (30) wherein actions are suggested to the user on the basis of the above elaboration of data, preferably programmed actions to assist the user in the execution of a multistep recipe.
     
    13. Method according to any claim from 10 to 12 further comprising the step of measuring the temperature through the kitchen utensil and the step of further associating said temperature to the detected position and/or movement of said cooking utensil.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kochsystem (S), einschließlich eines Küchengeräts (10, 110, 210, 310) und eines elektrischen Haushaltskochapparats (20), insbesondere eines Kochfelds, wobei ein solches Gerät Sensoren aufweist, die am Griff des Geräts eingerichtet sind, wobei ein oder mehrere der Sensoren in einer Gruppe ausgewählt ist, bestehend aus Beschleunigungssensoren (12a), gyroskopischen Sensoren (12b), Neigungssensoren oder Kombinationen davon, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Kochapparat mit einer Steuereinheit (22, 24) bereitgestellt ist, die dazu konfiguriert ist, Daten von solchen Sensoren zu empfangen und die Daten durch Analysieren von Trends der Daten gegenüber Zeit zu bearbeiten, um zu beurteilen, wie das Küchengerät (10, 110, 210, 310) entweder von einem Benutzer bewegt wird oder wie ein solches Gerät in einer stationären Konfiguration platziert wird, um Informationen darüber zu bearbeiten, wie das Gerät (10, 110, 210, 310) verwendet wird und um den Kochapparat dementsprechend zu steuern.
     
    2. Kochsystem (S) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Küchengerät (10, 110, 210, 310) ein Ende (B) entgegengesetzt zum Griff (110b, 220, 214) aufweist, an dem ein Temperatursensor (12e) und/oder ein elektrischer Impedanzsensor (12d) platziert sind.
     
    3. Kochsystem (S) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei die Steuereinheit (24) konfiguriert ist, um Daten vom Temperatursensor (12e) und/oder Impedanzsensor (12d) abhängig von Daten, die von Beschleunigungssensoren (12a) und/oder gyroskopischen Sensoren (12b) und/oder Neigungssensoren empfangen werden, zu verarbeiten.
     
    4. Kochsystem (S) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Küchengerät (10) in der Form einer Zange ist und einen Beanspruchungsmessungssensor (12c) in einem Bereich (A) des Geräts (10) entgegengesetzt zu den freien Enden (B) der Zange aufweist.
     
    5. Kochsystem (S) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Kochapparat eine Benutzerschnittstelle (30) umfasst, die dazu konfiguriert ist, dem Benutzer Anweisungen auf der Grundlage von Informationen bereitzustellen, die von Daten abgeleitet sind, die von den Beschleunigungssensoren (12a) und/oder gyroskopischen Sensoren (12b) und/oder Neigungssensoren erfasst werden.
     
    6. Kochsystem nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Küchengerät (110) einen Griffabschnitt (110b) aufweist, der vom verbleibenden Abschnitt (110) des Geräts (110) lösbar ist.
     
    7. Kochsystem nach Anspruch 6, wobei der Griffabschnitt dazu konfiguriert ist, an unterschiedlichen Enden (B) verschiedener Formen angebracht zu werden, beispielsweise in die Form eines Löffels, Schöpflöffels, Zange, Nadel.
     
    8. Kochsystem nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei es einen Griff mit einem konkaven Sitz (212) zum Enthalten einer abnehmbaren Kassette (214), die die Beschleunigungssensoren (12a) und/oder gyroskopischen Sensoren (12b) und/oder Neigungssensoren trägt, aufweist.
     
    9. Verfahren zum Steuern eines elektrischen Haushaltskochapparats (20), insbesondere eines Kochfelds, umfassend die Verwendung eines Küchengeräts (10, 110, 210, 310), das Sensoren aufweist, umfassend die weiteren Schritte des Sammelns von Daten von einem oder mehreren der Sensoren, die in der Gruppe ausgewählt sind, bestehend aus Beschleunigungssensoren (12a), gyroskopischen Sensoren (12b), Neigungssensoren oder Kombinationen davon, des Kommunizierens solcher Daten an eine Steuereinheit (24) des Kochapparats und dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es die Schritte des Bearbeitens solcher Daten durch Analysieren von Trends der Daten gegenüber Zeit umfasst, um zu beurteilen, wie das Gerät entweder vom Benutzer bewegt wird oder wie ein solches Gerät in einer stationären Konfiguration platziert wird.
     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei der Schritt des Beurteilens, wie das Gerät vom Benutzer verwendet wird, den Schritt des Erkennens der Position und/oder Bewegung des Küchengeräts (10, 110, 210, 310) umfasst.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Ansprüchen 9 oder 10, weiter umfassend den Schritt des Steuerns des Kochapparats (20) auf der Grundlage einer solchen Bearbeitung von Daten.
     
    12. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche von 9 oder 11, wobei es den Schritt des Unterstützens des Benutzers durch Bereitstellen von Anweisungen durch eine graphische Benutzeroberfläche (30) umfasst, wobei dem Benutzer Aktionen auf der Grundlage der obigen Bearbeitung von Daten vorgeschlagen werden, vorzugsweise programmierte Aktionen, um den Benutzer bei der Durchführung eines mehrschrittigen Rezepts zu unterstützen.
     
    13. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche von 10 bis 12, weiter umfassend den Schritt des Messens der Temperatur durch das Küchengerät und den Schritt des weiteren Assoziierens der Temperatur mit der ermittelten Position und/oder Bewegung des Kochgeräts.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système de cuisson (S) incluant un ustensile de cuisine (10, 110, 210, 310) et un appareil électroménager de cuisson (20), en particulier une table de cuisson, cet ustensile ayant des capteurs qui sont agencés sur le manche de l'ustensile, dans lequel un ou plusieurs desdits capteurs sont choisis dans le groupe constitué de capteurs d'accélération (12a), de capteurs gyroscopiques (12b), de capteurs d'inclinaison ou d'une combinaison de ceux-ci, caractérisé en ce que l'appareil de cuisson est doté d'une unité de commande (22, 24) configurée pour recevoir des données de ces capteurs et pour générer lesdites données en analysant les tendances d'évolution desdites données dans le temps, afin d'évaluer comment l'ustensile de cuisine (10, 110, 210, 310) soit est déplacé par un utilisateur soit est placé dans une configuration fixe, afin de générer des informations sur la façon dont l'ustensile (10, 110, 210, 310) est utilisé et de commander l'appareil de cuisson en conséquence.
     
    2. Système de cuisson (S) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'ustensile de cuisine (10,110,210,310) a une extrémité (B) opposée au manche (110b, 220, 214) où un capteur de température (12e) et/ou un capteur d'impédance électrique (12d) sont placés.
     
    3. Système de cuisson (S) selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel l'unité de commande (24) est configurée pour traiter les données provenant du capteur de température (12e) et/ou du capteur d'impédance (12d) de manière subordonnée aux données reçues de capteurs d'accélération (12a) et/ou de capteurs gyroscopiques (12b) et/ou de capteurs d'inclinaison.
     
    4. Système de cuisson (S) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'ustensile de cuisine (10) se présente sous la forme d'une pince et présente un capteur à jauge de contrainte (12c) dans une zone (A) de l'ustensile (10) opposée aux extrémités libres (B) de la pince.
     
    5. Système de cuisson (S) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'appareil de cuisson comprend une interface utilisateur (30) configurée pour fournir des instructions à l'utilisateur d'après les informations issues des données obtenues par les capteurs d'accélération (12a) et/ou les capteurs gyroscopiques (12b) et/ou les capteurs d'inclinaison.
     
    6. Système de cuisson selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'ustensile de cuisine (110) présente une partie de manche (110b) détachable de la partie restante (110) de l'ustensile (110).
     
    7. Système de cuisson selon la revendication 6, dans lequel la partie de manche est configurée pour être raccordée à différentes extrémités (B) de diverses formes, par exemple en forme de cuillère, de louche, de pince, de seringue.
     
    8. Système de cuisson selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, présentant un manche avec un siège concave (212) pour contenir une cartouche amovible (214) portant les capteurs d'accélération (12a) et/ou les capteurs gyroscopiques (12b) et/ou les capteurs d'inclinaison.
     
    9. Procédé de commande d'un appareil électroménager de cuisson (20), en particulier d'une table de cuisson, comprenant l'utilisation d'un ustensile de cuisine (10, 110, 210, 310) ayant des capteurs, comprenant les étapes ultérieures consistant à collecter les données à partir d'un ou plusieurs desdits capteurs choisis dans le groupe constitué de capteurs d'accélération (12a), de capteurs gyroscopiques (12b), de capteurs d'inclinaison ou d'une combinaison de ceux-ci, à communiquer ces données à une unité de commande (24) de l'appareil de cuisson et caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend les étapes consistant à générer ces données en analysant les tendances d'évolution desdites données dans le temps afin d'évaluer comment l'ustensile soit est déplacé par l'utilisateur, soit est placé dans une configuration fixe.
     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, dans lequel l'étape consistant à évaluer comment l'ustensile est utilisé par l'utilisateur comprend l'étape consistant à reconnaître la position et/ou le déplacement de l'ustensile de cuisine (10, 110, 210, 310).
     
    11. Procédé selon les revendications 9 ou 10, comprenant en outre l'étape consistant à commander l'appareil de cuisson (20) sur la base de ladite génération de données.
     
    12. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 ou 11, comprenant l'étape consistant à aider l'utilisateur en donnant des instructions à travers une interface utilisateur graphique (30), dans lequel des actions sont suggérées à l'utilisateur sur la base de la génération de données susmentionnée, de préférence des actions programmées pour aider l'utilisateur dans l'exécution d'une recette en plusieurs étapes.
     
    13. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 10 à 12, comprenant en outre l'étape consistant à mesurer la température à travers l'ustensile de cuisine et l'étape consistant à associer en outre ladite température avec la position et/ou le mouvement détecté(e) dudit ustensile de cuisine.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description