Prepare a spot of tea with ATtiny85

When making tea, do you always seem to have trouble perfectly timing the brew? Maker Suvinks could certainly relate, and as a result, has devised a littleBits-controlled robotic tea timer. Now, instead of failing to remove the teabag at the optimal time — whether because you were chatting with a friend or reading an Atmel blog — the gadget will take care of the task and notify you when it’s time to enjoy your hot beverage.

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Inspired by an Instructable from TaipeiHackerSpace, Suvinks set out to put his own spin on the tiny tea maker. He even took the ‘tiny’ aspect to another level by powering the system with an ATtiny85 chip. The tinyAVR MCU powers a micro servo, some switches, and a piezo buzzer that enables the teabag to be dunked into boiling water repeatedly.

Suvinks put together the circuit on a basic prototyping board and then looked to upload the appropriate software. Admittedly the Maker says the code employed is not the most desirable for the project, but can accomplish the task at hand.

With the brains of the operation complete, Suvinks needed to create a durable frame for the contraption. He cut out his framework from a 3mm piece of plywood that should be available at most hobby shops. Lastly, he assembled his unit with the help of some double-sided tape. A 9v battery was linked to the circuit to power the arm while a screw was fastened to the end of the arm to make holding the tea bag an easier task.

Suvinks is accepting any ideas for improving his design over on the project’s official Instructables page. Cheers!

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