Computer controlled coffee roasting


I knew about this when it came out, but it never made it’s way to Hack-A-Day. We’ve mentioned a computer controlled roaster before, but this one is far and away the best I’ve seen. [Jeffrey Pawlan] has been selling individual units to the coffee industry (and extreme coffee geeks) – with good reason. He modified an already sweet Hottop coffee roaster (~$500 US) to be completely computer controlled. He wrote a complete software interface that accounts for room temperature to create complex, repeatable roast profiles. More than anyone, I’ve lamented the lack of details on the system. It’s a safe bet that he’s using more than a few thermocouples with a multi-line A/D converter. Anyone feel like writing some open source coffee roaster software? Modifying my current setup wouldn’t be that difficult.

Comments

  1. alex mccown says:

    i really need a laptop *cry* but im 14 and cant afford it (nice (but pointless) hack)

  2. harrison says:

    Pretty neat (but commercial) hack. Looks like the software is ‘written’ in LabVIEW (which adds a bunch of bloat to the software).

  3. h_2_o says:

    neat little thing, but hey why not just link to roasters on amazon. this is nothing more than an ad for this guy to sell his stuff. really come on guys at a minimum the source for the software or some details at all should be offered, not just a hey look at this “mod” now buy buy buy!!!!!!!!!

  4. kamu says:

    holy crap, QQ more h_2_o.

  5. MRE says:

    for once, I agree with the negative comments. while it took some effort to modify the roaster to perform as desired, considering the guys credentials, it was beyond simple. hell, it wouldn’t have been hard for most people in the hacking community, but for this guy its should have been a job done in his sleep.

    Further, absolutely *NO* information is given on what was done. its an advertisement. nothing more.
    Only a select group of coffeesnobs would drool over this in the first place. granted, there is a legitimate market of home/small business brewers but still… who honestly gives a $h!t?

    Finally, the software looks like.. well.. crap. I have never been one to bag on someone’s work before, but again, given the guys credentials, he could have written by hand, made it look better, and not used labview. hell, with a little time and effort, labview could be made to look much better than this too. and the topping on the cake is on the bottom of the screen shot:
    “all screen features plus the look and feel are protected by copyright and also by patents applied for”
    ok.. that just chaps my hide! disregarding the fact that its ugly and if it were mine, it would look better.. but you cant copyright a graph showing the roast profile! thats rediculous! copyrighting the controls, features, screen color, options is a lot like attempting to copyright watches that show what time the sun comes up! the *only* thing copyrightable is the unimpressive image at the top, and the company name.
    if the copyright is to apply to the layout of the control software.. again.. thats just damn silly. If it is a logical order of control, you cant exactly copyright it. If it were to be enforced on someone else making a similar product, it would be trivial for them to “move this group of controls slightly to the right, and thus they do not infringe on copyright” so whats the goddamn point?

  6. MRE says:

    ohh, and by the way, this is only a two thermocouple system.. at least, as shown on the control software.

  7. You could probably the whole laptop part with an MCU, a VFD and a few cheap pushbuttons… It’d be a more attractive system too. Laptop+Lapview = teh suck.

  8. crgwbr says:

    #1 said “i really need a laptop *cry* but im 14 and cant afford it”

    we’re the same age, and i need one too. that doesn’t justify whining ’bout it here.

  9. Nick says:

    im 12 and i need a laptop

    and a new desktop

    and a 8800gtx

    I think they should set up a charity “kids who want stuff”

  10. Loye Young says:

    The software for making coffee already exists for Linux. It’s Free and Open Source, of course. You can hit a key on your computer and it will fire up the coffee maker remotely. (Mostly, it demonstrates how to design a Turing machine.) See http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Coffee.html.

  11. strider_mt2k says:

    So does this run java or does java run this?

    While I’m thinking about it, just to avoid the grind I think I’ll press my own java run, old bean!

    Cheers!

  12. js says:

    That’s a commercial unit…there are six of them in a shop close to where I live which they use to roast bulk coffee.

  13. Pat says:

    Looks like the control software was done in LabVIEW.

  14. Sarah Brown says:

    I got a Gaggia coffee machine a while ago. I use it everyday and it produces great tasting coffee.

  15. Interesting post!!! looking forward to seeing more articles!

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