Arduino-Based Dispenser Delivers Liquids, Powders

If you like to cook or bake, you probably don’t measure everything out in little bowls and ramekins before you start. Well,unless you also happen to like doing dishes. Even so, there are a lot of measuring spoons and -cups that end up getting dirty in the process. But what if you had a measuring machine to dole out spices and low-viscosity liquids in specific quantities for you?

[enddev]’s creation is based around an Arduino Mega, and the interface is three buttons and an LCD. The user selects between liquid and powder, followed by the desired measurement. If liquid is chosen, the peristaltic pump is engaged to deliver the specified amount through silicone tubing. The current powder setup uses a kitchen scale, which the designers found to be inaccurate for small amounts. They believe that a volume auger and stepper motor would be ideal.

The team mentions that the powder delivery system is better suited for flakier substances since it’s basically agitated out of the container. This makes us think this would be great for feeding fish. If you take this admirably-written Instructable and use it to feed your fish or something, let us know. Their code is on the gits.

[via Embedded Lab]

7 thoughts on “Arduino-Based Dispenser Delivers Liquids, Powders

    1. Exactly. Rinsing out peristaltic tubing isn’t *hard* but it too requires some kind of adapter and takes time and effort. Maybe you could hook up an automated flushing and sterilization cycle? Use silicone tubing and maybe some kind of high temperature, clean water flush? At that point at least you have the start of a bartending robot!

  1. an auger for powders could actually be labor saving, if integrated into a storage container, with a spout. A row of them on the counter, and just pass your mixing bowl along….

  2. Olive oil is one of the few things that could be left in place, almost everything else needs to be purged and the lines cleaned after use. Lotsa waste and tedium. I never measure ingredients anymore than I measure the notes when playing an instrument.

    1. Olive oil + silicone tubing is unlikely to be a good long term chemical compatibility though. There are a few food grade TPR tubes though that would work better instead.

  3. You can optimize the process to minimize washing. For example when I make pancake, I measure the liquid first in a large measuring cup, then pour in the flour taking into account of liquid in there. Then I mix it in the same measuring cup with a fork and reuse one of the spoons for scraping out the last bit of batter. So at the end I only need to wash a few spoons, and only 1 measuring cup.

    Real cooks measure stuff like flour by weight because the actual amount can differ by volume. Don’t see the tool help you weight stuff. But once you have done it a few times, you know the consistency you are after, it is easy to adjust on the fly. If you switch brands/types of flour which have different mix and particle sizes. then the scale is off anyways.

    Seriously wash stuff while you are cooking. There are so many pauses between process. It is all about task scheduling and managing limited work space/resources. Back in University days, my other cooking housemate complain about my cooking make him look bad as I don’t leave as much unwashed stuff for the others that don’t cook but do the clean up. I sometime do multiple dishes and desserts.

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