In the movie Wall-E, future humans live in floating chairs and have everything done for them. Today, we grumble if we have to go to physically find a light switch or a remote control. How far away can floating chairs with screens be? T2, the Tea Bot, gets us one step closer to that. Using a laser-cut frame, an ESP8266, and a servo motor, the T2 brews your tea for exactly the right amount of time.
We were kind of hoping the robot would at least dunk the tea bag in and out, but it does provide a web interface that lets you select the brew. Of course, the code is available, so you could make modifications — maybe turn on a hotplate underneath the cup.
While this isn’t particularly practical for most people, it is a nice short example of how to provide a web interface and do something with an ESP8266. Maybe you want to lock a desk drawer or put a marshmallow into a flame, for those tasks you could use very similar code.
Since a servo takes a pulse width and draws very little current, you could probably drive a bunch of them and parallel process a lot of teacups if you were serving a crowd. Naturally, this isn’t the first automated brewer we’ve seen. It isn’t even the only one with a servo.