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Slideshow: Microcontrollers in the Kitchen 5 Tasty Projects

8/8/2013 01:50 PM EDT
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rick merritt
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Got a light?
rick merritt   8/8/2013 6:07:27 PM
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The Honeywell kitchen computer with the built in cutting board reminds me of the giant 1950s system at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA that had a console with a built-in ash tray. "This computer can be hazardous to your health!"

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Got a light?
Caleb Kraft   8/8/2013 6:11:05 PM
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1 saves
Thats hillarious. The built in cutting board was actually almost brought back recently. 

You can see it in action at this video

 

Kinnar
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Open Source Boards are Adding Values in the Kitchen
Kinnar   8/11/2013 11:32:46 AM
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We can see that the Open Source Hardware Initiatives are playing a major role in the advancements, e.g. Kitchen Utilities here. These boards will show us many more advancements in many day to day applications with electronics.

DrQuine
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Raise the bar on tasty cooking
DrQuine   8/8/2013 9:24:06 PM
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We should raise the bar on "tasty cooking" with microcontrollers in the kitchen.  For starters, they should be powered by the food (remember the potato powered clock?). Then the circuits could be printed on the food and made of edible materials. Eating the food in different patterns (disabling different portions of the circuit) would produce different results. Colors of the food could be made to change or different patterns could be displayed. Maybe some day, as you eat your steak, the vegetables will light up and say "eat your vegetables".

daleste
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smoker
daleste   8/8/2013 10:47:40 PM
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I like the smoker.  That is a great idea to use ceramic pots instead of a metal smoker.  I might have to try that one.

AlPothoof
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Re: smoker
AlPothoof   8/9/2013 11:36:42 AM
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@daleste: I built one of those clay pot smokers about 10 years ago after seeing Alton Brown do one on Good Eats.  They work quite well except that finding a clay pot greater than 8 inches in diameter is difficult: most of the larger ones are plastic made to look like clay.  Since I like to do a whole brisket at a time, it doesn't fit.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: smoker
Caleb Kraft   8/9/2013 12:18:52 PM
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My brother made one and produced some fantastic meats and cheeses. I haven't messed with that, but I've done some fun stuff involving other things, like hops, malt and barley. 

daleste
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Re: smoker
daleste   8/9/2013 9:26:43 PM
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I guess the plastic pots wouldn't work very well.  I'll have to take a look at the pottery barn.

kfield
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Locking fridge
kfield   8/9/2013 9:10:52 AM
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Frankly, I have a need for a locking refrigerator once the daily calorie limit has been extracted from it. (But I could see myself bashing the fridge door in to get at the food in an emegency :-))

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Locking fridge
Caleb Kraft   8/9/2013 9:36:49 AM
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This isn't a bad idea but there are several key hurdles to overcome. 

1. food isn't packaged in calory servings. So lets say you cooked a meal, you used two tablespoons of butter. The fridge would need a way to calculate how many calories you consumed based on that item. 

2. identification. How would the fridge know the food was intended for you? what if you cooked a meal, what portion was yours and should be counted against the daily calorie limit? 

 

kfield
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Re: Locking fridge
kfield   8/9/2013 9:41:38 AM
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@caleb Maybe there's an altenative way to measure the food output, measure the food input by placing a scale in front of the refrigerator. Set the weight to a target range--when you're outside the range the refrigerator door either automatically locks or the refrigeraor automatically dispenses a gallon of ice cream.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Locking fridge
Caleb Kraft   8/9/2013 9:55:44 AM
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Interesting. I thought of a scale too, though honestly I imagined every item sitting on a scale at all times. A single scale would work as well, but then you have all the repeated data entry(what is this item, what is its caloric density, upper consumption limits, etc). 

You could probably implement an RFID system for identification and a database of common items. When you buy a new container of icecream you just plop the "icecream" rfid tag on it and you don't have to enter all that data. As you remove it for dispensing you weigh it and then weigh again upon return. The database automatically increments. 

Using this system each person in the family could have their own rfid identifying tag as well. The fridge would default to a locked state and if your tag has remaining callories alloted for consumption, the fridge unlocks. 

I imagine in my house that we would probably steal eachothers identification tags though, so subdermal implants would most likely be preferred. 

kfield
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Re: Locking fridge
kfield   8/9/2013 10:09:10 AM
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@Caleb acutally what I was thinking about is a scale to weigh the person trying to access the refrigerator!

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Locking fridge
Caleb Kraft   8/9/2013 10:12:39 AM
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Not a bad idea at all, and could serve as a secondary identification device as well. Integration of facial recognition might not be out of the question too. Can't be too safe.

kfield
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Re: Locking fridge
kfield   8/9/2013 10:15:30 AM
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@calebkraft Add in a camera and the ability to expand your cheeks to illustrate what gaining an addiitonal ten pounds would look like and it would likely kill your appetite completely!

junko.yoshida
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microwave experience
junko.yoshida   8/9/2013 11:51:12 AM
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I actually smiled when I read "microwave experience."

It's so true. I love cooking but I hate using microwave, because I have to stand in front of it and wait for the food to get done. 

Unlike standing in front of a stove, in which case I can stir the pot or do something proactively to food, microwave is really an impersonal experience!

elctrnx_lyf
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Interesting
elctrnx_lyf   8/10/2013 7:24:07 AM
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Very interesting applications from the enthusiastic engineers.

mxdSignal
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another idea
mxdSignal   9/18/2013 6:10:26 PM
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My wife enjoys using an internet controlled smart plug to turn her croc pot on and off.  I gave her the idea as a joke, but she loves using it!  I think we will see more IoT in the kitchen.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: another idea
Caleb Kraft   9/18/2013 6:14:21 PM
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That's a good idea!

jennieingram
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Microcontrollers are the future
jennieingram   11/20/2013 12:44:57 AM
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In my opinipon micro controllers are the future. We have seen even a siple small gadget have multiple controlls so we can better used it. Whirlpool french door refrigerators have also multiple micro controllers which help to add several features to it 

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