The joy of forums

[John Park] over at Make posted a short story about coming home from vacation to find his espresso machine non-functional. After beating his head against the wall for a while he joined a forum and posted a video. As has happened so many times, another user had seen this exact issue and was able to send him in the right direction.

We realize that this is just a simple capacitor replacement, though we understand his frustration, the original looks perfectly fine. The point here, is that there is usually someone out there on a forum that has experience with whatever your problem is. So don’t waste any time, go join the most awesome forum on the planet and get hacking!

Water-dosing coffee maker augmentation

[Arthur Benemann] has the worst part of making coffee licked. His add-on for a drip coffee maker fills the water to the proper levels for you, saving the drudgery of rinsing out the carafe, carefully filling it to the appropriate level, then pouring it into the machine without getting everything wet. This isn’t limited to a full pot, but is user selectable by the cup based on how many times in a row you hit that red button. One LED gives feedback on the selected mode, then the device uses a washing machine water valve to turn on the tap for the appropriate amount of time. We’re a little bit leery of connecting homebrew hardware to the water pipes in our house. Make sure you’ve done a good job of debugging so that an infinite loop doesn’t flood you out.

Internet enabled drip coffee

A fresh pot of coffee is never more than a tweet away with the Tweet-a-Pot. It works in much the same way that our Troll Sniffing Rat does. For that build we used a Python script to monitor our comments, and this does the same except that the script read tweets through the Twitter API. It watches for a specific hash tag (#driptwit) and when found it sends a serial command to an Arduino. The microcontroller then writes a digital pin high to actuate a relay, powering up the coffee maker.

Sure, you have to preload the pot with grounds and water, but what do you expect, automatic coffee roasting and brewing? That’s quite a bit more work.

Home Brew Coffee Machine

There are already a lot of different ways to brew up a decent coffee at home, from the humble saucepan to the elegant vacuum flask. In an office environment the choice of coffee-making technique can have a major impact on workplace harmony—how can people be expected to work happily when the kitchen is filthy with grounds and the coffee is always stale? “Someone have mercy,” [Christian Finger] lamented, “and boil a pot of fresh.”

In the end he took extreme measures, building a machine that grinds whole beans, measures out a dose, brews a cup and self-cleans. He used all sorts of odds and ends to put the thing together, detailed in his long and hilarious build log (english translation—and check out the dude’s sweet ride). Refer to his shockwave animation for a summary of the intended operation.

The end result is an extremely impressive Goldbergian contraption—download the video from the build log. It is pretty noisy and probably energy- and water-hungry, but that wouldn’t stop us from using it every day, if given the chance. Hell, this here could form a major part of your next breakfast machine.

We’re sure that there is further potential in this, because to get the really freshest possible cup of coffee you’d want to roast the coffee beans just before grinding them. Then you’d be well on your way towards something else entirely: a delicious breakfast machine.

DIY Coffee Gripper

Here at Hackaday, we love it when people make home brew versions of elaborate, expensive, and technical equipment. By gathering up some coffee grounds, a balloon, some plastic tubing, and his lungs, [Carlos] has provided a good how-to on making your own coffee grounds robotic hand. Inspired by the U. Chicago, Cornell, and iRobot Collaboration we previously covered, he is one robot and a vacuum pump away from having their setup. Check out his blog for a list of components as well as a couple hints to help the build go smoothly. Be sure to check out the video after the break.

[via Make]

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Robot gripper uses coffee to pick up anything

Picking up a raw egg is not something we’d think a robot gripper would be good at. But this model uses a bulbous tip instead of claw, which makes crushing the object less of a concern.

That tip is kind of like a balloon. It is stretched full with coffee grounds but air can also be pumped in and sucked out. When it comes time to grip an object, a bit of air is pumped in and the bulb is pressed down on its target. Once in place all of the air is sucked out, locking the coffee grounds around the object. Take a look after the break to see just how many things can be gripped with this technique.

Now the real question, can it bring me a beer?

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Coffee powered Car-puccino

We can only imagine how amazing this coffee burning car smells at it speeds down the highway at a maximum of 60mph. Don’t jump out of your seat so quick to get your own, while the idea sounds fantastic, the mileage will bring you back to earth rather quick. At 3 miles per kilo of coffee, it can turn that £36 210 mile trip into one between £910 and £1,820 with a stop to re-bean-fill every half hour!

Still, the Car-puccino is an amazing conversion, and we’re getting closer and closer to Back to the Future’s Mr. Fusion

[Thanks Tim]