Probably The World’s Most Expensive Bar Bot

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.

A picture of the JagerMachine consisting of rectangular, desktop sized drink serving machine with a wooden varnish, a 3.5 inch touchscreen on the front face on top and a cavity with a shot glass in it, lit up by blue leds, with liquid pouring into it.

Shoot An Email To Get A Shot

[_Pegor] wanted to create a shot pouring machine for their friends birthday. Unfortunately, the build wasn’t done in time, but at least the JagerMachine is finished now so that others can use it.

The JagerMachine has a peristaltic pump that moves liquid from a reservoir hidden in the back of the machine to the glass in front. The machine has a 3.5 inch DSI touch screen display for user input and a WS2812B LED ring for creating a small light show when the drinks are served. A 3.3 V to 5 V level shifter is used to power the LED ring and a motor driver module is used to drive the peristaltic pump motor. It looks like there’s a “shot glass detection” feature that uses a 3D printed mini platform with a notch for a magnet so that when a glass is placed on top of it, the hall sensor can detect the presence of the nearby magnet.

Part of the charm of this project is the software stack on the Raspberry Pi that allows for novel interaction, including being able to serve drinks from the receipt of emails. Using the Raspberry Pi as the controlling device allows for this rich set of interfacing options, including easily allowing the ability to drive the LEDs, detect the presence of the shot glass, along with establishing network connectivity. The setup procedures are all documented in the repository for anyone wanting to see how this type of functionality might transfer to their own project.

Drink mixing robots are, of course, a thing. ranging from small and cute to full shelf.

Robotic Bartender Built With Industrial-Grade Hardware

Robotic bartenders are a popular project around these parts. If there’s one thing hackers love, after all, it’s automating tasks – as much for the challenge as for the actual time saved. This build from a group of [Teknic Servo] engineers is an impressive example of what can be done with some industrial-grade hardware.

The bartender is built as a demo project for the ClearCore controller, [Teknic’s] industrial-grade device capable of interfacing with a whole bunch of servomotors and sensors to get the job done. The controller is hooked up to a bunch of ClearPath servomotors that handle spinning the bottle carousel, muddling or stirring the beverage, or transporting the drinking glass through the machine. There’s also several interlocks to avoid the patron coming into contact with the bartender’s moving parts while it’s working, and a standard bar-style mixer dispenser actuated with solenoids to keep things simple. Drink selection and control is via a touch screen, with sliders for selecting preferences such as alcohol content and sweetness.

The bartender is certainly capable of producing a neat drink (pun intended), and serves as a great example of how easily a project can be put together with industrial-grade hardware. If you’ve got the budget, you might find using an industrial plug-and-play components quicker than assembling development boards, motor controller shields and other accessories on breakout boards. There’s always more than one way to get the job done, after all.

We’ve seen some great barbots over the years, from builds relying on robotic arms to those focused on ultimate speed. Video after the break.

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Introducing The First Cisco Certified Mixologist

You’d be hard pressed to find an IT back office that doesn’t have a few Cisco routers or switches laying around and collecting dust. We’d even bet there are a decent number of people reading this post right now that have a stack of them within arm’s reach. They’re the kind of thing most of us have no practical application for, but we still can’t bear to throw away. But it looks like [Sven Tantau] has found an ideal middle ground: rather than junk his Cisco Catalyst switches, he turned them into automatic bartenders.

Inspired by all those perfect little square openings on the front, [Sven] loaded each switch with a whopping 24 peristaltic pumps, one for each Ethernet port. To fit all his plumbing inside, the switches were naturally gutted to the point of being hollow shells of their former selves, although he does mention that their original power supplies proved useful for keeping two dozen power-hungry motors well fed.

The motors are connected to banks of relays, which in turn are thrown by an ESP32¬†and an Arduino Nano. [Sven] explains that he wasn’t sure if the ESP32 could fire off the relays with its 3 V output, so he decided to just use an Arduino which he already knew could handle the task. The two microcontrollers work in conjunction, with a web interface on the ESP32 ultimately sending I2C commands to the Arduino when it’s time to get the pumps spinning.

[Sven] mentions his robotic bartenders were a hit at the 2019 Chaos Communication Camp, where we know for a fact the computer-controlled alcohol was flowing freely. Of course, if you don’t intend on carrying your barbot around to hacker camps, you can afford to make it look a bit swankier.

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UbaBOT Mixes Up 50 Cocktails To Quench CCCamp Thirst

[Steffen Pfiffner’s] tent during the Chaos Communication Camp is full of happiness delivered by something greater than alcohol alone. He’s brought a robot bartender that serves up a show while mixing up one of about 50 cocktail recipes.

The project is the work of five friends from Lake Constance (Bodensee) in southern Germany, near the borders with Switzerland and Austria. It started, as many projects do, with some late night drinking. The five were toiling to mix beverages more complex than your most common fare, and decided to turn their labors instead to robot making.

Since 2012, the project has gone through five revisions, the most recent of which the team calls Uba BOT. Delightfully, the cup tray which moves left and right on the front of the machine is connected using a strain gauge. This provides a way for the robot to sense the presence of a cup to avoid dispensing ingredients all over the bar itself. It also provides a feedback loop that verifies the amount of liquids and volume of ice added to the cup. Once everything’s in the cup, a rotary milk frother lowers itself into position to stir things up a bit.

A Raspberry Pi is in control of eighteen pumps that dispense both liquor and mixers. The team is still trying to work out a way to reliably dispense carbonated mixers, which so far have been a challenge due to over-excited foam. The software was originally based on Bartendro, but has since taken on a life of its own as these things often do. The first time you want a drink, you register an RFID tag and record your height, weight, and age which keeps track of your estimated blood alcohol content based on time and your number of visits to the robot. The firmware also tracks the state of each ingredient to alert a meat-based bar attendant of when a bottle needs replacing.

Join us after the break to see an explanation of what’s under the hood and to watch Uba BOT mix up a Mai Tai.

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Cocktail Barbot Takes Things Up A Level

Mixing a cocktail is considered as much an art as a science. The practice is studied dilligently by bartenders the world over. Of course, for any given human task, there’s always another human building a robot to automate it. [CamdenS5] is one such human, with a cocktail mixing barbot with a few tricks up its sleeve.

As you’d expect, there’s a smattering of the usual alcoholic liquids and mixers, along with a battery of pumps for fluid delivery. The fun doesn’t end there, though. There’s a linear actuator capable of putting out 500 N for slicing limes, and a mint and sugar dispenser as well. If that wasn’t enough, there’s even a muddling station to help bring out the flavours¬†just right.

This is a machine that takes a broader look at the process behind making a good cocktail. It’s not just about lumping ingredients into a glass – it takes finesse and care to get the best results. It’s not the first barbot we’ve seen – this one is built in a grandfather clock.

Order Drinks With Your Mind

Barbots are a popular project around these parts. With a few pumps and a microcontroller or two, it’s possible to build something that can approximate mixing a drink. If you’ve got the patience and attention to detail, you can probably even get it to the point where it doesn’t just end up as a leaking wet mess on your mantlepiece. [Robert] has taken his build a step further by adding mind control.

To achieve this feat, a Mindflex EEG headset is pressed into service. This picks up brainwaves from the user, and processes them into two output values of concentration and meditation. Through some careful hacking, it’s possible to retrieve these values. [Robert] sends the values over Bluetooth to the barbot controller for processing. Concentration values over a certain threshold are used to cycle through the drink selection, while meditation values are used to confirm the order. Once it’s made, a voice command to “hit me” will see the drink served.

It’s a tidy build that adds a bit of fun to an already cool project. We’d love to see this taken up several levels of complexity to the point where you can directly order the drink you want, just by the power of thought. If your university-grade research project is at that level, be sure to let us know. Else, if you’re interested in how the barbot came to be, check out [Robert]’s earlier work.