If preparing a bowl of Ramen Noodles maxes out your culinary capabilities, you might want to consider a trip to the Tokyo Institute of Technology to enhance your skillset in the kitchen. Researchers there have developed a cooking simulator complete with virtual vegetables that can actually burn, and a force feedback frying pan that lets you feel the weight of a hefty steak.
Using a set of cables attached to computer-controlled motors, the tethered pan moves with resistance that equates to the amount of food being tossed about. And thanks to complex equations that calculate heat transfer, moisture evaporation, and synthetic textures, the food changes color as it cooks and can even be burned if you don't keep it moving with a force feedback spatula. It's a great way for amateur chefs to get familiar with how to cook up meats and vegetables, but how about an accompanying simulator that also teaches food prep techniques so you only accidentally cut off a virtual finger? [DigInfo TV]