Introducing the Wallace and Gromit-style machine that will make you the perfect pancake

Rebecca Lewis

A Wallace and Gromit-style machine takes care of the pancake-making process from the moment a hen lays her egg.

Named The Pancake-omatic, the cracking contraption waits for the hen to lay her egg to set in motion a chain of events that produces the perfect pancake.

As the light turns from red to green, the hen - who happily sits on a golden throne - lays the egg. The egg rolls down a ramp and pushes aside a wooden spoon which winds up a gramophone.

The egg is transported by the spinning record then cracked into a bowl already containing other pancake ingredients. The bowl moves via a conveyer belt toward a whisk.

Once mixed the batter is dribbled onto a hot frying pan. The pancake is cooked for thirty seconds before it is flipped with deadly precision onto a plate.

The machine took a four-person team 200 hours to construct out of household objects and a further 100 hours to test.

The invention comes just in time for Shrove Tuesday, which falls on February 12 this year.

The contraption will be displayed at the Design Museum from the end of the month.

Design engineer Dermot Doyle, of Helix design production, said: "It's no mean feat to create a machine that will break an egg let alone flip a pancake so this project has been a really exciting challenge for the team. We hope we've cracked it and our machine encourages others to make their very own egg-inspired inventions."

Claire Jappy, brand manager at the "happy egg co." - the company that commissioned the project - added: "Pancake Day is a much-loved tradition so we wanted to do something that would celebrate this annual festivity - and champion the role our hens play in making pancakes. Hen happiness is at the heart of everything we do - because happy hens lay tasty eggs - so our contraption is the ultimate for pancake lovers wanting to enjoy a truly fresh pancake."