What do flying cars, robots, and meal preparation have in common?
They’re all passion projects for Silicon Valley tech superstar Sebastian Thrun.
The former Google executive and expert in AI and robotics is quietly ramping up a stealth startup revolving around how to make “healthy and tasty” meals at home.
On February 1, Thrun put out a call for roboticists to help with what he calls a “food technology project” in the meal prep space.
“I am building up a team of engineers, designers, and product specialists to develop innovative technologies in the area of meal preparation. We are developing technology to modernize how we prepare daily healthy and tasty meals at home,” Thrun wrote in the job listing.
It’s a new and somewhat unexpected category for the German-born Thrun. Nicknamed the “father of the self-driving car”, Thrun’s research lab at Stanford was among the first to pioneer the technology before he went to Google to help launch its hardware innovation lab, the now-famous Google X. Thrun left in 2012 to start Udacity, an online education startup, before creating KittyHawk, a flying car company with ties to Larry Page.
It’s not immediately clear how Thrun’s robotics background will help advance the age-old art of food preparation. But don’t be surprised if it involves steamers.
A source close to Thrun said he’s currently “obsessed” with the idea of steaming things, but Thrun declined to elaborate on his project to Business Insider.
Instead, he directed people to email him at a SVFactory.com domain. A webpage at the SVFactory address offers only a tiny morsel of information: “Welcome to Silicon Valley Factory. We make things out of nothing. That’s our secret.”