Cracking contraption makes pancakes
A machine that makes pancakes from eggs laid just minutes before has been developed for Shrove Tuesday.
Inspired by the hit cartoon Wallace & Gromit, the cracking contraption aims to make the world's freshest pancake.
Commissioned by the happy egg co, the Pancake-omatic took a team of four design engineers more than 200 hours to construct and a further 100 to test.
The device, which will go on display at the Design Museum later this month, uses a wide selection of household objects including an old-style gramophone and an electric whisk and features a luxury nest throne for the hen to lay her egg in.
The process starts with the hen laying an egg in her five star nest. As the egg rolls down a ramp, it pushes a wooden spoon, which winds up a gramophone.
When the music starts, the egg is dropped into a holder on the spinning record, then swung around and cracked into a bowl containing other pancake ingredients.
The bowl moves down a conveyor belt where the mixture is whisked and then released slowly into a hot pan. The pancake is cooked for 30 seconds, flipped and placed on a plate.
Design engineer Dermot Doyle 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."