A Beverage Cooler That Comes To You!

Feel like taking a long walk, but can’t be bothered with carrying your drinks? Have no fear, this  “Follow Me” Cooler Bot is here!

Really just a mobile platform with a cooler on top, the robot connects to smartphone via Bluetooth, following it using GPS. Making the platform involves a little woodworking skill, and an aluminium hub with a 3D-printed hub adapter connects the motors to a pair 6″ rubber wheels with a swivel caster mounted at the rear. A pocket in the platform’s base houses the electronics.

The Arduino Uno — via an L298n motor driver — controls two 12V DC, brushed and geared motors mounted with 3D printed brackets, while a Parallax PAM-7Q GPS Module in conjunction with an HMC 5883L compass help the robot keep its bearing. A duo of batteries power the motors and the electronics separately to prevent  any malfunctions.

Controlling the platform is done on an Android smartphone using Blynk. Ease of use and the ability to set basic commands to be sent to the robot over a desired connection type made it ideal for this helpful little ‘bot.

There isn’t anything more complicated going on — like obstacle avoidance or sophisticated pathfinding — so you kinda need a clear line between you and the cooler. Still, beverage storage is a great feature to add to you tag-along robot companion. It seems to work just fine.

28 thoughts on “A Beverage Cooler That Comes To You!

  1. If it recorded a string of locations from the phone to follow instead of simply turning to a straight line course, and had a couple of sensors on the front, it could go where the person does and avoid obstacles.

    1. Alright! The person sets the waypoints, the bot goes trough them.
      What makes me unsure about this build is that GPS is really inaccurate, but in open air it may work.

    1. I will apologize for my unfruitful comment. Sorry.

      So, fellow commenters, what is your favorite way to convert a short segment of video into an optimized GIF?

      1. You don’t. Use a modern html5 video tag and either h.264 or webm with no audio. That same 10 seconds would be somewhere around 1mb in HD. Gif should have died in 2015 along with flash.

        1. The animated GIF format is not to blame here. It’s those “video to GIF” conversion tools that are to blame. To continue the trend and make people understand why it’s bad, someone should make a “GIF to colourized Excel rows and columns” tool.

    1. I have an optical data link so I am not bothered but some people may be in far more isolated places and have very slow links, therefore why act in an unnecessary way that disadvantages them? And yeah they could get a gif blocker, but you didn’t offer any help in that regard did you?

  2. Darn thing it doesn’t look like it’s fast enough to keep up with me. Any slower damn dogs will be marking it as theirs. Oh well…l they had done more than I have done in some time now so thumbs up.

    1. Program the cooler to maintain a steady distance (say 6 feet) from the user, whether they’re moving towards or away from it. Then the faster the user is moving towards it, the thirstier they must be.

  3. Battery life must really suck. Does it have a low-battery warning system? iRobots recharge themselves at remote charging stations. And collision re-routing can be done with spring-loaded bumpers with microswitches. Finding target human can be done with 2 IR photosensors in a heat tracking monopulse scenario. Thirst detector can be done with a thermistor measuring outdoor ambient temperature. The hotter it is outside the thirstier it’s customers must be? Or just interface one of these $13 (USD) Walmart gadgets to the robot to measure a human target’s ambient temperature.

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