Monitoring a coffee pot with an Arduino

coffee graph

Coffee has always been an important part of the internet; the first webcam ever was in the Trojan Room of the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory to monitor the contents of a coffee pot. Now, instead of webcams, we have Arduinos and a bathroom scale. Not particularly similar to a webcam, but more than enough to keep track of how much coffee is currently available at DoES Liverpool.

Being a techy workshop/studio, coffee is always in short supply at DoES Liverpool. Instead of getting up and checking the pot, [Patrick] thought it would be a good idea to monitor the contents of a coffee pot online. He’s doing this with a bathroom scale underneath the coffee machine connected to an Arduino Ethernet module. By measuring the weight of the coffee pot and subtracting the known empty weight, [Patrick] can get a pretty good idea of how much coffee is left in the pot, and how long the coffee has been sitting there.

The data from the Arduino is fed to an Xively feed that displays the current status of the coffee machine on any computer with an Internet connection. Far more sophisticated than the first webcam ever, and a very useful tool for everyone at DoES Liverpool.

Comments

  1. Sprite_tm says:

    You can actually do this without the scale, up to a certain extent. The coffee in an ordinary pot usually is heated with a heating plate underneat it. This heat plate usually is controlled by a bang-bang-controller, that is, if the coffee is colder than X degrees, the heater turns on, if it’s warmer than Y degrees, the heater turns off again. Now, the heater will always put X watts of power into the coffee. It needs to heat up a varying amount of coffee, though, and half a pot full is more easily heated up than a full pot. So, by measuring the amount of time the heater pulls electricity, you can see how much coffee is left. If you’re measuring electricity anyway, you can also see when a new pot is brewed, so in the end, all you need is a simple power meter in the power line of the coffee machine and you can figure out all kinds of state. I used this to turn off the coffee maker if it was empty when i still was a student; worked like a charm.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m noticing a trend in today’s articles…

    Somebody needs his 100′th cup of coffee.

    • isama says:

      I was thinking the internet was trying to tell me something :P

    • I’m wondering if HaD is paying big bucks in royalties to use that cartoon character?

      If any editors read this comment, I personally think an application “theme” like this is a great idea if used occasionally. It works great for Google and I think it can work really well here.

      But using some big brand image really makes this feel more like some lame idea a middle-level manager in a big corporate structure got from a focus group, rather than HaD’s tradition “grassroot feel” of showcasing hacks mostly make by determined individuals.

  3. MrTectu says:

    Is it the international day of coffee again or what? I feel slightly fooled.

  4. Matt says:

    but is it RFC 2324 compliant?

  5. Reblogged this on anthonyvenable110.

  6. ursussiara says:

    I like coffee. I don’t like it this much.
    Ursus.

  7. BiOzZ says:

    we going for the fry 100? XD then post a surrealistic calming possibly stroke induced fire based hack? XD

  8. lmn says:

    We see that Brian loves coffee much more than Mike

  9. Aid Vllasaliu says:

    That graph on the picture is an accurate representation of my interest-curve of today’s posts

  10. Haku says:

    Yuck, coffee.

    Drink of the devil.

    I love chocolate but find it disgusting that certain chocolate makers put coffee in some of them.

  11. Mike says:

    Why reason does appear text “hackadaycom.wordpress.com” at http://www.indagadores.com/supervision-de-una-cafetera-con-un-arduino/ ?
    Perhaps you must to watch who is reading your feeds and using them

  12. Hirudinea says:

    3 suggestions, first when the weight drops below empty zero (the carafe) is removed take a “mug shot” (that’s a joke son, I made a funny) with a webcam in case somebody doesn’t refill an pot (or to see who is a caffeine freak). Second put a strain gauge on to keep people from putting the sugar on top of the machine to fool it and third add a timer so 20 minutes after the display will tell people the coffee just isn’t feeling fresh anymore.

  13. Passmadd says:

    Big thanks to HaD as I had no idea this place existed and will try and find some time to drop in :)

  14. ways says:

    I did something similar with a standard desktop, and now a raspberry pi. You can check it with: telnet graph.no

    • DefProc says:

      Cool. but you need to put some coffee on…

      ######################################
      #                                    #
      #   )  Coffee telnet v.5             #
      #   (  At 15:45 01.09.2013 there is  #
      # c[x] 0 cup(s) of coffee left       #
      # Coffee seems stale! Filled: Fri Aug 30 08:42:01 CEST 2013 #
      #      (-2 grams)                    #
      #                                    #
      ######################################
      
      • ways says:

        Filled! =)

        ######################################
        # #
        # ) Coffee telnet v.5 #
        # ( At 11:31 04.09.2013 there is #
        # c[4] 4.6 cup(s) of coffee left #
        # (1099.98 grams) #
        # #
        ######################################

  15. ka1axy says:

    “…with a webcam in case somebody doesn’t refill an pot…

    THIS ^

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