LEGO Cup Holder Helps You To Stay Hydrated

A Lego cup holder with a glass of water and electronics on a breadboard

Eat more fruit, exercise more, drink more fluids; early January is traditionally the time to implement New Year’s resolutions. Most of the common ones simply require willpower, but if it’s staying hydrated that you’re targeting, then some help is available. [Pepijn de Vos] designed a LEGO cup holder and an accompanying desktop app that tell you exactly how much water you’ve had so far, making it easier to get to those eight glasses a day.

The basic idea is simple: the cup holder contains a load cell that senses the weight of your drinking vessel. If the weight decreases, then a message is sent to your PC detailing the amount lost. If the weight increases, then the glass must have been refilled and the previous weight is disregarded. This way, the app simply needs to add up all the amounts reported, without having to compensate for the weight of the empty glass.

The tricky bit was integrating a load cell into the LEGO structure. It required some fiddling with Flex System hoses to ensure the platform’s weight rested only on the load cell, while still being stable enough to safely hold a full glass of water. The load cell is read out through an amplifier and A/D converter, while the USB communication is handled by a Teensy 3.

[Pepijn] modified an existing GNOME desktop widget to display a cup icon and the total volume consumed, which seems to work pretty smoothly judging from the video embedded below. All the code and even a complete set of LEGO build instructions are available on the project’s Github page. If simply monitoring your fluid intake isn’t enough of a nudge for you, then check out this device that floods your desk if you don’t drink enough.

11 thoughts on “LEGO Cup Holder Helps You To Stay Hydrated

    1. For some this is a genuine problem. It happens to me quite often that I forget and drink only a cup of tea in the morning a cup of coffee in the afternoon, resulting in a headache and/or other issues. If I drink a few glasses of water throughout the day I feel much better, as simple as that. For me it’s not about myths/science, this is just how my body works. From my point of view this device would make me feel better and make me more productive, which makes it useful.

      1. And, take it from me, not having enough fluids running through your kidneys can result in kidney stones. Very painful, then rather uncomfortable few weeks if you are able to “pass” them naturally, surgical procedure required if they are large enough that you can’t. And the surgical procedure involves the surgeon going up where men particularly do not want anything “going up”.

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