It’s Friday, and let’s face it, who couldn’t use a drink?
And if that drink is mixed by machine, all the better, I say.
Before you think I may have already had one too many and am talking a load of nonsense, I present to you… The Inebriator.
Powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 microprocessor project board, the Inebriator is designed to make it almost effortless to mix up perfect cocktails in seconds without the hassle of having to look up ingredients or carefully measure out spirits and mixers.
The machine comes with a Hitachi HD44780 compatible display used to display drink information and buttons to navigate the menu. The Inebriator also boasts a stepper motor to drive the drinks shelf, with acceleration and deceleration to allow high speed without spilling and a DC motor to operate the optics.
The “bar” selection on the Inebriator currently includes eight mixers (cranberry juice, orange juice, milk, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, red grape juice) and nine spirits (peach schnapps, vodka, gin, coconut rum, white rum, amaretto, coffee liquor, triple sec, blue curacao).
All the mixers are in plastic bottles in a cool box and each bottle has two pipes, one that is hooked to the gas tank (70 percent Nitrogen and 30 percent Carbon Dioxide), while the other leads from the bottom of the bottle to a valve.
When the gas tank is opened (by means of a regulator) the bottles are pressurized to a safe low pressure. When 12v is applied to the valve it opens, and the pressure causes the liquid to flow through the pipe and ultimately into the glass. Each mixer has its own valve and is individually controllable. There is also a cut off valve for the gas supply.
Since safety is paramount when drinking, the Inebriator also comes with a force sensitive resistor to detect the presence of a glass and prevent accidental operation.
There’s also an RFID sensor integrated to allow operators with a valid RFID token to get at admin functions such as priming of the mixers and to cut off drunks after last call.
Finally, as a pretty touch, the makers of the Inebriator have included a small cluster of RGB LEDs in the drinks tray to light up the glasses and spirit bottles.
The Inebriator isn’t the only lean, mean drink machine we’ve ever seen, though. Recently at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in San Francisco, a team entered the “Sirious Margarita” machine into the hardware hackathon.
As its name implies, the contraption, which includes an ElectricImp board and a motor for wireless connectivity, allows users to tell Apple’s Siri to make them a perfect blended Margarita, even remotely.
The singularity, it seems, is sloshed.
But on a Friday afternoon, can you think of anything better to do with electronics? I can’t….
It sounds like a fun hobby projects, but as you mentioned, WKetel, a lot of sanitation concerns. One of the niceties about self-used hobby projects is that you don't have to worry about such details, but if you're going to promote and/or sell the device or design, it becomes important to either build the system to mitigate those concerns or make sure they are clearly documented.
If you're going to sell it, you really have to address the concerns. If you're just going to present it as an open source design, I think you can get away with just documenting and suggesting ways to take care of it. Unfortunately, depending on the common sense of the user isn't enough.
Computerized bartenders are always fun, but there is always the challenge of keeping them clean enough. And will the Ardunio chip be available as a replacement part in six months? It is an interesting project, but I wonder about how much has been done as far as verification that all of the valves are food service rated. Alcohol, fruit juices, and sugar, can be hard on a lot of materials. Also, has the system been checked for immunity to inebriated operators?