Rice ball in coconut syrup is a popular Thai dessert found in all types of setting, whether fresh markets, supermakets, restaurants, or within households. The process is moderately labor-intensive, as each rice ball has to be rolled by hand. For this reason, a group of students conceived an idea of inventing a machine that will automate this process and help save both time and manual labor.
The team consisted of Chanon Chumporn, Nattapong Booncharoen, Tippawan Siriraknawi, Jirawat Wattanalanij, and Udomsak Udomlab from the Faculty of Engineering, with Dr. Apinan Walapa as the advisor.
The unique part about this machine is that it has been designed to use no electricity. “Instead of electricity, the machine is manually operated. It works very much like a bicycle, where a person turns the lever, and the machine will start to cut and mold the rice flour batch into small circular rice balls. Then, the rice balls will drop into the tray at the bottom,” they explained.
The machine is made with inexpensive parts commonly sold in the market. “The main function is where it cuts the rice flour and form it into rice balls. By using this machine, you get the rice balls that have a universal shape and size,” said the team.
This rice ball-shaping machine is suitable for small-scale rice ball dessert production, such as vendors or households. It is not expensive and adds no extra cost to the production.