Tag Archives: stepper

Barobot is an Atmel-based cocktail mixing robot

Barobot – powered by Atmel’s ATmega328 and ATmega8 microcontrollers – is an open source device that pours cocktails by mixing alcohol, soft drinks and sodas. It holds up to 12 bottles, and, according to its creators, is capable of pouring a drink with military accuracy.

In addition, Barobot features over 1,000 cocktail recipes, allowing users to create new ones on the fly. All can be easily accessed via a custom coded app on a tablet touchscreen or smartphone.

“Barobots frame – made of either deep black or transparent acrylic glass, comes in either a self assembly kit or an assembled ‘plug and pour’ version,” a Barobot rep explained in its recent Kickstarter post.

“The flat-pack self assembly kit requires no advanced skills or tools (it’s great fun to put together by itself!). Barobot is also illuminated with over 100 individually controlled LEDs that might be set to a number of light-themes or even synchronized to music.”

On the hardware side, both the carriage board and main board are based on Atmel’s popular ATmega328 MCU. The chips are tasked with collecting and relaying information from sensors as well as giving commands to actuators (motor and servos).

 Meanwhile, the other 12 boards are known as “u-panels” and powered by tiny ATmega8 MCUs. Their primary purpose? Operating 96 LEDs on top of the robot (for bottle and Barobot interior illumination).

“All the PCBs communicate via I2C and ISP protocols in a distributed manner. One of the advantages of this setup is that all those independently operated LEDs that can illuminate the frame and individual bottles in a myriad of different ways,” the rep added.

In terms of software, the PCBs run in Arduino C++ code.

The tablet app – written in Android Java – features:

  • Browsing drink recipes database (shows only cocktails that are possible to create using installed ingredients)
  • Choosing drinks basing on: flavor, ingredients, color and strength
  • Proposing random cocktail recipe (“I feel lucky”)
  • Composing new drinks and adding them to the database
  • Pouring drinks ordered remotely (Sofa server)
  • Showing history of drinks orders defining what ingredients/bottles are installed
  • Defining external ingredients (i.e. not installed in Bartender)
  • Setting light themes generating new light themes
  • Calibrating all aspects of Barobot operation

Interested in learning more? You can check out Barobot’s official website here.

Motor control with AVR MCUs

Microcontrollers (MCUs) are becoming more and more common for motor control applications as they replace Application-Specific Standard Products (ASSP) and ASICs. Simply put, MCUs are equipped with embedded peripherals – thereby offering considerable flexibility while reducing costs.

Typical applications for motor control MCUs – such as Atmel’s extensive AVR lineup – include compressors and fans in refrigerators, fans in cooker hoods, as well as drums and pumps in washing machines.

“Atmel AVR MCUs are particularly well suited for motor control applications. First off, Flash memory provides flexibility that enables developers to use the same microcontroller for multiple applications, all while easily upgrading the program during an application’s lifetime,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits and Pieces.

“Secondly, code compatibility allows engineers to port existing development to other Atmel AVR microcontrollers based on new application requirements. Thirdly, the extended family of Atmel 8-bit AVR microcontrollers helps engineers choose a perfect fit for a specific application, while keeping costs under control. And lastly, dedicated peripherals such as high-end PWM modules and ADC are ideal for motor control applications.”

Numerous motors  can be appropriately paired with Atmel AVR MCUs, including a three-phase BLDC, two-phase BLDC, asynchronous AC and stepper.

Interested in learning more? Additional information about using Atmel AVR MCUs for various motor control applications is available here.