Having trouble opening your bottle? Let this robotic device do it for you.
We’ve all been there: The big game is about to start, you head over to the fridge to grab a cold brewski, only to find out it isn’t a twist-off cap and there’s no bottle opener in sight. Luckily, thanks to a group of Makers, you won’t even need to get up from the couch let alone have to open your own beer.
Led by Maker Sasha Schrandt, the team successfully modded a non-functioning robot to successfully open a beer bottle using some DC motors, a relay shelf, some resistors and an Arduino Duemilanove (ATmega328), among several other electronic components.
After stumbling across the old robotic device, the Makers decided that it would be a good idea to bring this piece of technology back to life and to give it a new purpose, one in which would come in handy for a party, a big game, or just any lazy Sunday. That purpose? To become an automated beer opener.
“The task of controlling a robot to have it interact with specifically shaped objects and operate heavy loads is challenging and required significant prototyping and modelling. After many tests and many failures, we were very excited to watch our robot successfully maneuver through arm movements to open a beer bottle,” Schandt writes.
The robot is controlled by the ATmega328, which is attached to a relay shield. Connected to those are three recycled DC motors, switches, wires, and a couple resistors. Additionally, the Makers employed a couple zip ties, nuts, bolts, washers and short screws, along with a MDF board to mount everything on, and eight empty soup cans plus various scrap pieces of metal and rods.
Schandt reveals that there were four primary tasks to prepare the hardware for the robot. These included weight reduction of the robot arm to allow maximum torque / force from the arm; bottle holders for the beers (which were created using the empty soup cans); mount the bottle opener and limit switches to the robot; and, mount the robot parts to a sheet of MDF to maintain alignment.
To reduce the weight of the arm, the team simply took off the last two motors of the robot arm to make the carriage head lighter. This left them with an arm that was much easier to control and to get the necessary torque to open the bottle caps. From there, all that was left was a bit of coding and connecting the electronics. After some programming magic and electrical know-how, the robotic contraption was ready.
So, did it work? The robot was able to open seven out of the eight bottles successfully. Not too shabby, if you ask us! Interested in crafting your own bottle bot? Head over to the project’s official page here for a step-by-step breakdown of the build.