When 5 o’clock calls, just call on the bot.
Sure, the Internet of Things is ushering in countless new connected products and appliances into the kitchen. While the oven, refrigerator and coffee maker may rank relatively high on most consumers’ wish lists, there’s one other machine that will soon find its way into the smart home (or well at least the man cave) of tomorrow — the robotic bartender.
Maker Yu Jiang Tham debuted a DIY drink mixing robot aptly dubbed “Bar Mixvah.” The platform is built around an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) paired with five 12V peristaltic pumps. On the software side, Yu Jiang employs the MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js) and jQuery for the frontend and backend, respectively. The entire robotic device only cost the Maker approximately $180 to create, while each of the parts were 3D-printed using a MakerBot Replicator 2X.
The Social Drink Machine
While one of the earlier innovations we’ve come across, the Social Drink Machine scores high in awesomeness nevertheless. Powered by an [Atmel based] Arduino, the Robofun-designed gizmo involves a fully-enabled robotic bar that prepares your dream cocktail all through a tweet or post. Just scanning a QR code near the bot will take the user to its companion Facebook app to choose a drink. Or, for the more Twitter-savvy folk, they can tweet “gimme drinks @socialdrinkbot” to access the Twitter app instead.
Barobot – powered by both ATmega328 and ATmega8 MCUs – is an open-source device that pours cocktails by mixing alcohol and soft drinks. It can hold up to 12 bottles, and according to its creators, is capable of distributing a drink with military accuracy. In addition, Barobot features over 1,000 recipes, enabling users to create new ones on the fly. All can be easily accessed via a custom coded app on a tablet touchscreen or smartphone.
While at Google I/O 2013, researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab in collaboration with Coca-Cola and Bacardi Rum debuted Makr Shakr — a robot drink-mixing system. Then just this year, the company partnered with Royal Caribbean to create the world’s first “bionic bar” aboard its new smart ship, the Quantum of the Seas. Passengers can place their orders via tablets and watch as the robot mixes and serves their drinks. Each robot is capable of producing one drink per minute and up to 1,000 drinks per day, according to cruise line.
Did you ever wish you had an in-home personal bartender that would have a drink waiting for you when you walked in the door after a long day? Well, that was the concept behind behind Monsieur — a cocktail making machine that uses artificial intelligence to learn your drinking habits, preferences and subsequently, make recommendations. Similar to a Keurig coffee machine, the Monsieur whips up concoctions on demand. Developed by a pair of Georgia Tech alums, Monsieur measures just under two-feet (20-inches) on all sides, and can hold up to eight bottles of liquid. The robotic device boasts a 10-inch touchscreen, powered by Android and connected to an embedded MCU that controls its thermoelectric coolers, peristaltic pumps, sensors, and other mechanical components to deliver precision mixology. In addition, the next-gen bartender can be connected to your home automation networks via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or ZigBee, as well as the company’s cloud-based servers to receive new cocktail updates and recommendations from its online community. Having a holiday party? You’re in luck. Monsieur can serve up to 150 drinks before needing a refill.
One of the first on the scene, the Inebriator is a homemade, open-source robot bartender powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560), which makes the perfect cocktail every time. The console runs on a .NETMF Fez Panda II, and stores all drink information in XML files. The low-level mechanics are controlled by the ATmega2560, while the .NET board sends commands to the Arduino board over Serial. More recently, the team has launched the latest iteration of the device. Version 2.0 includes an illuminated drink tray comprised of 18 RGB LEDs, each individually controlled by an Arduino Nano (ATmega328).
Bartendro is an open-source, modular cocktail dispensing robot. Powered by Raspberry Pi, the lightweight and portable machine can serve more than 200 drinks in a single evening. Bartendro can be paired with a mobile device and connected via Wi-Fi to manage dispensers, ingredients, and recipes. You can also view reports of the drinks made and the quantities of ingredients used. The robotic bartender’s dispenser comes equipped with a controller board, which is driven by an ATmega168, RJ45 and liquid level sensor connectors, and even sports a few RGB LEDs.
Smart Cocktail Shaker
While it may not have commercial appeal like others on this list, Adafruit recently highlighted a DIY contraption devised by Maker Tony Dicola. The sub-$60 smart cocktail shaker is powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), a kitchen scale load cell, and an Android application. Once the cocktail shaker is placed on the scale, an Arduino sends the amount of poured liquid to its connected Android device over USB or Bluetooth in real-time, which prompts a user to pour the correct amount of each liquid.
One of the most recent smart bartender devices to hit the market, Brewie is a fully-automated brewing machine featuring a sleek, compact design. The easy-to-use Brewie — which was just launched on Indiegogo — allows users to simply add ingredients, scan an RFID card that comes with its Brewie pad, and let the machine to go to work. You will be able to fine-tune your beer recipes and reproduce your favorite ones time and time again — all from the comfort of your own home.
Not equipped to be a bartender? Luckily, this new gizmo is. And, while it may not be a robot per se, B4RM4N is a smart cocktail shaker powered by an Atmel microcontroller. Synced to your smartphone over Bluetooth, users have the ability to take the guesswork out of mixing and pouring the perfect drink. To start, a user connects B4RM4N to their mobile device by placing the shaker onto a nearby table or bar, immediately launching the accompanying mobile app. From there, simply select a recipe from its vast library loaded onto the app, as well as the desired number of drinks (up to three glasses at a time for any given recipe). Once a recipe is chosen, a user will be instructed by the app to go ahead and round up each of the necessary ingredients, and start adding. Accompanied by instant sound feedback, the LEDs located along the side of the shaker will indicate when to stop. When completed with one ingredient, B4RM4N shows you what to do next, which can also be monitored on the smartphone’s screen. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Vodka Shot Dispenser
A simple glass of ice isn’t enough for someone as creative as Ben Armstrong. For a product design project at Brunel University, the Maker developed this slick coin-operated vodka shot dispenser that would fit perfectly in any man cave or college frat house. The drink-delivering unit accepts coins and after the required amount of change is deposited, the device will begin pouring ice-cold shots of the desired alcoholic beverage. An IR sensor seeks out the glass, while two solenoid valves dispense the correct volume of liquid. An LCD screen, which displays the price of the booze, also will command the user to consume their liquid once it is poured. Instead of peer pressure, could we call that CPU pressure? An Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) handles all of the bartending duties for the design. The dispenser can pour up to four shots at a time, so don’t forget to invite some friends over if you build your own model.
Now, what would a robotic bartender be without its accompanying Tron bar? One Maker recently designed just that, an impressive one as well – powered by an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) and EL shield. (And come to think, it began its life as a bookcase mounted to the wall!)