Hopefully I am not barging in here, I have been lurking for quite a while.
It seems like several things would be of benefit here:
1. Recipe database. (recipe's ingredients cross referenced to UPC codes whenever possible).
2. foodstuff inventory of all food in house with UPC codes whenever possible.
3. Lookup of foodstuff's to find closet location, lowest price.
4. Generation of shopping list and map to mobile orbiter. Shopping list based on low inventory, expired perishables, and selected recipe's queued.
5. Orbiter support for built in camera eye or for laser bar code reader to manage inventory (Simply scan bar code on usage or purchase and update or decrement inventory).
If anyone is to implement this it would of great value to hook it up to a web service such as Google base or http://en.barcodepedia.com
. These are used by Compare Everywhere and Shop Savvy. These apps (on the G-Phone) take a bar code from the camera input and then return the price of the item at local stores and internet stores.
On the home automation system, something like this would keep your foodstuff inventory, then when you generate your shopping list, you can be told where you can buy the items in your current list, with preferences given to the closest location to you, or the cheapest price in town, quality of fresh foods, etc. When your list is generated, you get a handy map showing where to buy each item and the shopping list and map are uploaded to the smart phone your orbiter is installed on. Mark off the products as you buy them by scanning them with your camera eye and then your local database is updated with the new inventory. Scan something using your phone's camera and if it is not in your local database, or known about by Google bases, you can choose to add the info manually.