Could it be the new air fryer? The "kitchen robot" that might become the next big countertop appliance

This soon-to-launch countertop appliance is probably the nearest we've got to a "robot private chef" so far - but will every kitchen have one in the future?

a robot countertop appliance in a kitchen
(Image credit: Nymble)

After the flying car, the most anticipated invention from the realm of sci-fi has got to be centered around food, right? When I used to watch Star Trek as a kid, I was obsessed with the "food replicator" – a fantastical, but sadly fictional piece of tech that would create whatever food the user wanted on demand. 

And while it's true that technology in the kitchen is coming on leaps and bounds (after all, we're seeing AI fridges and AI ovens now come to market with some incredible features), it's lacking some of the novelty - and, dare I say it, camp - that my favorite science fiction tech had to offer. These smart home kitchen ideas might be brilliant, but hard to get too excited about. 

However, I discovered a new piece of kitchen tech trending this week that is, all at once, brilliant and brilliantly bonkers. Ready to meet the kitchen robot that's unlike anything I've seen before, but that might just herald the start of genius AI-powered countertop appliances. 

Meet the Nymble "kitchen robot"

food loading into a nymble appliance

(Image credit: Nymble)

Let's be clear - there are several appliances that call themselves "kitchen robots" around. Tech brand Suvie, for example, offers a countertop oven that cooks its pre-prepared frozen meals, while Moley has a complex AI kitchen interface that has literal robot arms doing the culinary work for you - but it's something you're unlikely to see in every modern kitchen any time soon. 

Then, there's the Nymble. Nymble's countertop appliance has been around as a prototype for a little while, but it's now available for pre-order for shipping in early 2024 for the US. 

It's an idea that also tackles an area that many other smart kitchen gadgets don't - cooking on the range. It's designed to allow you to cook any meal that you could on a traditional hotplate, but by automating the entire process, you can claim back the time you'd otherwise spend standing over the stove, and get perfect results every time. 

How does it work? 

spices in a nymble machine

(Image credit: Nymble)

The Nymble comes pre-loaded with recipes that you can choose from for your "robot chef" to cook. Once selected, you fill each of the four ports, labeled from A-D, with the ingredients stated in the recipe. This is the only bit of culinary labor you'll have to do for your dinner - chopping and prepping your ingredients. 

Cooking oil and water are pre-loaded, and dispensed in the perfect amount, and you add the corresponding spices into your Nymble, which are added alongside the ingredients at the right time, and at the right temperature. 

Take a look below to see it in action. 

It's pretty fun, right? Nymble drops the ingredients into the pan, and keeps the whole thing stirring (well, as much as the recipe requires). With total control over the heat, it should be foolproof cooking, but even then Nymble has an AI-enabled camera that watches over your food, looking for characteristics such as browning and consistency to make sure your food turns out perfectly. 

Should I buy one?

If you'd shown me the Nymble a few years ago, I'd have discounted it as a total novelty - but given the popularity of "hands-off" cooking appliances like the slowcooker, and subsequently the air fryer, there's a chance this idea could just take off. 

There's one major difference, however. Part of the appeal of the slowcooker and air fryer is undoubtedly in how versatile these appliances are, and how much you can innovate with them. These appliances have gone viral in recent years as people have worked out how to do everything from slowcooker desserts to making pizza in an air fryer. 

Nymble's tech requires it following a strict recipe, but with other 500 preloaded, you won't be short for inspiration. 

It's a little bulky, meaning you'll have to dedicated kitchen countertop space to it, and while it undoubtedly has benefits when it comes to accessibility in the kitchen, for some people, it might not compute with the joy they find in the simple act of cooking food. 

Of course, what we haven't talked about is the price. Nymble is available for preorder for $995 (with a preorder fee of $100), but it's regular price will be $1,500. It's a far way off the affordability of air fryers and slowcookers, but that doesn't mean it won't, in the future, become more accessible for every home. 

Hugh Metcalf
Editor of

Hugh is the  Editor of From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2024.