RoboTray Is A Secret Tea Butler

How far would you go for your cup of tea? [samsungite]’s missus doesn’t like clutter on her countertops, so away the one-cup kettle would go back into the cupboard for next time while the tea steeped. As long as there’s room for it in there, why not install it there permanently? That’s the idea behind RoboTray, which would only be cooler if it could be plumbed somehow.

RoboTray went through a few iterations, most importantly the switch from 6mm MDF to 4 mm aluminum plate. A transformer acts as a current sensor, and when the kettle is powered on, the tray first advances forward 7 cm using a 12 VDC motor and an Arduino. Then it pivots 90° on a lazy Susan driven by another 12 VDC motor. The kettle is smart enough to turn itself off when finished, and the Arduino senses this and reverses all the steps after a ten-second warning period. Check it out in action after the break.

If [samsungite] has any more Arduinos lying around, he might appreciate this tea inventory tracker.

10 thoughts on “RoboTray Is A Secret Tea Butler

  1. Kind of cool, really looks fun, but brewing just a single tiny mug of tea is almost criminal. Tea works so much better with a teapot (or tea pot sized cup – my preference when brewing for one, as just on a capacity front – less trips to the kitchen for more wakeup juice)…

    Interesting concept, certainly meets the design goal, but seems rather wasteful of space to me… If you are going to build it all in like that and just put teabags in the cup might as well integrate it all into the cupboard with one of those push cup against the trigger to let the hot water out mechanisms hanging subtly out of the bottom at all times – then you can reclaim more space inside either for a big water tank to feed it (saving mains water plumbing) or storage, which if you really want that tidy a kitchen space seems like something you would be forever short of.

  2. Water kept at room temperature can get infected. Fresh run water is better than stuff growing in it. There is a reason why water heaters must be above a certain temp and dead-end runs of piping can get contaminated.

      1. The problems that can occur from microbiota growth aren’t exclusive to consuming living colonies, metabolites and substances left behind in the dead colony cells can also be harmful, even after being boiled. It’s still not going to be a terribly hospitable place for growth, but it’s still possible.

  3. The hack factor is cool, and doing the work certainly is fun. I’d personally go with one of those hot water faucets however, like a quooker. This is probably cheaper though … Quookers are way too expensive …

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