Bar bots, or robotized bartenders, are a fun feature of events in our community, because there’s nothing like a cocktail untouched by human hand. Usually they have a row of bottles and a slide on which you put the glass, but [SecurityWriter] relates a tale of an altogether much grander affair. Given a weekend with a group of friends and an enterprise-grade IBM tape library robot, they did what any sensible engineer would do. They turned it into a bar bot.
Most readers probably won’t have seen a consumer grade data tape for decades, but in the enterprise space they’re very much the most cost effective backup solution. Large corporations have vast numbers of them, and IBM sells robots which retrieve them automatically from huge storage racks. When a group of young techs were given the tedious task of cataloging the whole thing and found themselves stuck in an empty data center for a weekend, of course they produced what was probably the world’s most expensive automated drinking game. Stocking the shelving system with booze and using the command line control for the robot they were able to have it deliver their beverages, and shockingly they managed to do so without the whole thing breaking.
It’s a hack, even if it’s one of which by necessity no evidence remains. Sadly Hackaday doesn’t have a tape library, or you can bet we’d be tempted to give it a try ourselves. Never mind, we can continue to sample more conventional bar bots from time to time.
Traveling through mainland Europe on a British passport leads you to several predictable conversations. There’s Marmite of course, then all the fun of the Brexit fair, and finally on a more serious note, beer. You see, I didn’t know this, but after decades of quaffing fine ales, I’m told we do it wrong because we drink our beer warm. “Warm?”, I say, thinking of a cooling glass of my local Old Hooky which is anything but warm when served in an Oxfordshire village pub, to receive the reply that they drink their beers cold. A bit of international deciphering later it emerges that “warm” is what I’d refer to as “cold”, or in fact “room temperature”, while “cold” in their parlance means “refrigerated”, or as I’d say it: “Too cold to taste anything”. Mild humour aside there’s clearly something afoot, so it’s time to get to the bottom of all this. Continue reading “Why Do Brits Drink Warm Beer?”
Do you ever sit around thinking of ways to repurpose things in your house? Well [BevCanTech] found a way to recycle some of his empty beverage cans by turning them into homemade wire.
The premise is simple. He cut 2 mm thick strips of wire from the beverage can along its circumference, creating a thin, long “wire” spool. He sanded the ends of each strip to crimp pieces of his homemade wire together. He found he could get about four meters from a standard-sized beverage can, probably roughly 12 oz, as he unraveled the can. He then used crimp connectors to connect his homemade wires to the battery terminals and also to the end of a flashlight. He used a red cap from another can as a pseudo light diffuser and lampshade, creating a pretty cool, almost lava lamp-like glow.
Maybe the meat of this project won’t be as filling as your Thanksgiving meal, but hopefully, it can serve as a bit of inspiration for your next freeform circuit design. Though you’ll probably want to smooth those sharp edges along your homemade wire.
Let’s say it’s Halloween, and you’re a big fan of centaurs. At the same time, you want to be easily able to store your drinks on ice and always have them to hand. Well, this costume from [David Yakos] might be the one for you.
Construction is simple. Two small bike wheels were fitted to the cooler using bits of a broken chair, and the other end of the cooler is simply fitted around the wearer’s waist with a strap.
The rear centaur legs are carved out of foam board, and attached to the rear wheels with a bolt through the spokes. The top of each leg is attached to a rod, which slides into the frame holding the wheels on. It keeps the top of the legs roughly where they should be but lets them move, allowing the legs to “walk” as the wheels rotate.
It’s not exactly an advanced build, but we simply love the idea of costumes that keep drinks cold all night. Hiding the cooler as a centaur’s body is really just the icing on the cake. Of course, if you’ve got your own costume design for keeping your beverages chilled and frosty, do let us know. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Centaur Costume Features Drinks Cooler And Walking Legs”
Voice controlled home assistants are the wonder of our age, once you’ve made peace with the privacy concerns of sharing the intimacies of your life with a data centre owned by a massive corporation, anyway. They provide a taste of how the future was supposed to be in those optimistic predictions of decades past: Alexa and Siri can crack jokes, control your lights, answer questions, tell you the news, and so much more.
But for all their electronic conversational perfection, your electronic pals can’t satisfy your most fundamental needs and bring you a beer. This is something [luisengineering] has fixed, an he’s provided the appropriate answer to the question “Alexa: bring mir ein bier!“. The video which we’ve also put below the break is in German with YouTube’s automatic closed captions if you want them, but we think you’ll be able to get the point of it if not all his jokes without needing to learn to speak a bit of Deutsch.
As he develops his beer-delivery system we begin to appreciate that what might seem to be a relatively straightforward task is anything but. He takes an off-the-shelf robot and gives it a beer-bottle grabber and ice hopper, but the path from fridge to sofa still needs a little work. The eventual solution involves a lot of trial and error, and a black line on the floor for the ‘bot to follow. Finally, his electronic friend can bring him a beer!
We like [Luis]’s entertaining presentational style, and the use of props as microphone stands. We’ll be keeping an eye out for what he does next, and you should too. Meanwhile it may not surprise you that this is not the first beer-delivery ‘bot we’ve brought you.
Continue reading “Alexa, Bring Me A Beer!”
Some projects take but a single glance for you to know what inspired them in the first place. For this over-engineered robotic bottle opener, the obvious influence was a combination of abundant free time and beer. Plenty of beer.
Of course there are many ways to pop the top on a tall cold one, depending on the occasion. [Matt McCoy] and his cohorts selected the “high-impulse” method, which when not performed by a robot is often accomplished by resting the edge of the cap on a countertop and slapping the bottle down with the palm of one’s hand. This magnificently pointless machine does the same thing, except with style.
The bottle is placed in a cradle which grips it, gently but firmly, and presents it to the opening mechanism in a wholly unnecessary motion-control ballet. Once in place, a lead screw moves a carriage down, simultaneously storing potential energy in a bundle of elastic surgical tubing while tripping a pawl on the edge of the cap. A lever trips at the bottom of the carriage’s travel, sending the pawl flying upward to liberate the libation, giving the robot a well-deserved and sudsy showers. Behold the wonderful interplay of 190 custom parts — and beer — in the video below.
Hats off to [Matt] et al for their tireless efforts on behalf of beleaguered beer-openers everywhere. This seems like the perfect accessory to go along with a game of mind-controlled beer pong.
Continue reading “Over-Engineered Bottle Opener Takes The Drudgery Out Of Drinking”
It’s often taken for grated, but the modern world is full of luxuries. Home automation, grocery delivery, and even access to the Internet are great tools to have at hand, but are trivial to most of us. If these modern wonders are not enough for you, and the lap of luxury is still missing a certain je ne sais quoi, allow us to introduce you to the ultimate convenience: a voice controlled, beer-dispensing sofa with a built-in refrigeration system.
This is a project from [Garage Avenger] and went through a number of iterations before reaching this level of polish. Metal work on the first version didn’t fit together as expected, and there were many attempts at actual refrigeration before settling on repurposing an actual refrigerator. With those things out of the way, he was able to get to the meat of a project. The couch-refrigerator holds 12 beers, and they are on a conveyor belt which automatically places the next beer onto the automated drawer. When commanded (by voice, app, or remote) the sofa opens the drawer so the occupant can grab one easily without having to move more than an arm. Everything, including the voice recognition module, is controlled by an Arduino, as is tradition.
The attention to detail is excellent as well. The remote control contains a built-in bottle opener, for one, there are backlights and a glass cover for the refrigerator, and the drawer is retracted automatically when it senses the beer has been obtained. We couldn’t ask for much more from our own couches, except maybe that they take us where we want to go. But maybe it’s best to keep these two couch use cases separate for now.
Continue reading “Voice Controlled Sofa Meets Your Every Beverage Need”