Synergizer: The Emergency Key-Turn Barbot

Synergizer: Emergency Drink Dispenser

It’s been a rough day at the office. You need a break. But by yourself? No, what you need is to be Synergized! This Barbot only works if all four keys are inserted and turned — kind of like a nuclear launch procedure — only then will it dispense four perfectly sized drinks to make your day better.

The Synergizer uses an Arduino to control a belt driven linear actuator which moves the spout from cup to cup. A series of reed switches along the length provide feedback to the system for positional control. The machine makes use of a peristaltic pump, called the Bartendro Dispenser, which pumps an exact volume of your liquid of choice into each cup. The cool thing with peristaltic pumps is they are self priming,and capable of pumping an exact volume of liquid every time.

[Nick Poole], the designer, also included a CPU fan and heat-sink paired up with a peltier plate in order to also chill the liquid as it is being pumped. To make it even more interesting, he added a four key override, so the Synergizer can only be used if all four unique keys are inserted.

For a multi-liquid barbot, you have to check out this slick build by [Sean Carney] — it even has web access for control via any device!


10 thoughts on “Synergizer: The Emergency Key-Turn Barbot

  1. I’ll admit I didn’t read the full write-up in the link, but I hope it’s set up so the keys have to be turned in synchronization, so you can’t cheat it by yourself, and so you can’t get more drinks if at least one of you is drunk.

    1. The video obviously shows that the keys don’t have to be turned at the same time, but the idea is that four people all have one of the keys, so all four people must be present to use it.

      I do doubt the pass-through chiller actually chills the liquid significantly; it would only be in contact with the part of the tubing being chilled for a very short time, and if I understand correctly, the tubing that touches the chiller is the same plastic tubing used in the rest of the machine, which means the thermal connection from the chiller to the tubing is probably pretty bad, and the thermal resistance of the tubing is very high, so only the bit of liquid that is stationary in that piece of tubing while the device is idling will be chilled significantly.

      You could fix this by using a fairly large thermal mass with channels for the liquid to run through, or length of thin-walled metal (like copperm aluminium, or stainless steel) tubing submerged in a volume of chilled water or oil. This would obviously create new problems, mostly the possibility of contamination of the drink with metal particles or ions. I don”t know of any materials that would be food-safe and easy to clean or replace like plastic tubing, and have a sufficiently high coefficient of thermal conductivity to be useful.

      The easiest solution would probably be a either chill the whole bottle, or use a reservoir the size of 4 cups to chill the liquid before dispensing it. After the first round, you’d have to wait until the next batch is sufficiently chilled though.

  2. Given the pumps go for $130 at SparkFun, I doubt people are going to build mixing versions with it.. I noticed (and actually ordered) some peristaltic pumps at Ebay (China) that go for $13, but they seem to have speed of only 100ml/minute instead of 700ml/minute. But, you could buy 7 of them to get the same speed :).

    And then there is this whole carbonated liquid issue.

    Hasn’t anyone tried to repurpose (say) a CNC such as a Shapeoko to do a pouring version drink maker, with a scale giving the feedback how much has been poured? The bottles would be in angle to begin with and the device would only need to lift the bottom end up to control the pouring. If you had only a few bottles you wouldn’t even need to move the glass.

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