The Impulse Cooktop has state-of-the-art cooking performance and paves the way for a clean energy future. Impulse premiered the stove at the 2024 CES, where USA Today awarded it Best of What’s To Come 2024 in the Kitchen and Cooking category.
Like with sous vide, a user can control temperature precisely. Unlike sous vide, the Impulse Cooktop can operate like a traditional stove to sauté, sear, and fry food.
The Impulse Cooktop is more energy efficient than electric or gas stoves.
The Impulse Cooktop heats up faster and is more controllable than gas.
The Impulse Cooktop doesn’t create air pollution in the home.
Reaching product maturity in under 18 months
SOE and Impulse’s teams worked together both remotely and in person to:
Collaboratively design and produce ten engineering prototypes*
File a patent for a novel fast-response temperature sensor
Develop a machine learning algorithm to predict temperature in cookware accurately
Develop firmware to precisely control 10kW, which is 2-3x more power than gas or electric stoves, strong enough to boil a liter of water in 40 seconds
*Note: The pictured stoves are engineering units designed to prove performance. They do not match the final industrial design.
How induction cooking works
Below the stove’s cooking surface is a planar coil of copper wire. When an alternating electric current (represented by the blue spheres) is passed through the wire, an alternating magnetic field is formed (represented by the blue arcs). The magnetic field interacts with the metal in the frying pan to generate eddy currents.
Eddy currents create heat
The iron atoms in a steel pan align themselves with the magnetic field. As the field oscillates, the atoms’ continuous realignment creates friction, generating heat.
Custom temperature sensor
Imagine maintaining a steady temperature in your pan no matter what ingredients you add. For instance, after you add a cold steak to the pan, the stove dynamically resets the pan to the ideal doneness temperature. Impulse makes cooking more straightforward and predictable – no more burnt garlic. To deliver that user experience at the power level of this stove, a fast-acting, highly accurate temperature sensor was needed. Because this sensor didn’t exist, SOE developed a proprietary patent-pending one for Impulse.
Custom machine learning control algorithm
SOE used the stove and various pans’ thermal and magnetic material properties to build a predictive model, which was validated with experiments. The model was used to develop a custom algorithm that uses inputs from the sensor over time to:
Predict the temperature
Set the optimal induction power to heat the pan to the desired temperature
Custom machine learning control algorithm
SOE employed a physics-based approach to make a dynamical system model and controller, which supports real-time learning of the behavior of a range of pans.
Mechanical Design and Assembly
SOE integrated and assembled components from 3 sources: Impulse designed, COTS components, and SOE designed.
Impulse designed the following (indicated in green):
Thermocouple Interface PCBA
For parts of the prototype where custom design was not essential, SOE carefully chose commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components (indicated in red) to decrease expenses and accelerate development.
SOE designed systems
(indicated in blue):
Custom Glass Cooktop
E-stop Safety System
Industrial Grade Housing
Thermal Management System
Temperature Sensor System
User Interface Assembly
Testing the stovetop
The cooktop was designed and tested for high-temperature operation, impact resistance, water ingress, sensor mechanism verification and validation, and material compatibility with household cleaning compounds. Testing the cooktop also required the following:
Emulsifying hollandaise sauce
Browning butter Caramel
Sous-viding and searing steaks
Deep-frying: chicken, jalapeño poppers, pickles, tater tots
SOE constructed and tested ten prototype units in-house. By building these stoves internally, SOE mitigated risks associated with working with multiple vendors, monitored build progress, and could quickly pivot when necessary. The prototypes were used to:
Validate the physics of the sensor
Evaluate the performance of the integrated system
Showcase the product to potential partners and investors