Presenting Beerbot – the Arduino-powered, Twitter-activated beer dispensing system.
Beerbot (now in 2.0) is a hacked can vending machine that employs a Rails+Twitter Stream API app to detect when Maxus staff request a beer on Twitter to @maxusbeerbot. Authorised Maxus staff Twitter accounts can RT to “approve” the beer request, which sends an authorisation code vis Cosm.com API to the Arduino controller. Then a cold beer comes out.
Everything is logged, allowing for in-depth analytics of who drank all the beer in the office and who gave it away.
- Beerbot 1.0 featured a hacked fridge with Arduino+Ethernet Shield connecting to Thingspeak API, powering servo-motors to vend the cans. This was really dodgy and sits in the Sydney office.
- Beerbot 2.0 is a portability and stability upgrade. Includes Arduino+WiFi shield to interface with the new mini-vending machine electronics. It was upgraded to run on MQTT language (via Cosm) due to overheads with parsing JSON. It sits in the Singapore office.
BEERBOT 2.0 TECH SPECS
- Arduino Leonardo
- Arduino Wi-Fi Shield
- Optocouplers to flip the “vend” switch
- Fancy blue LEDs
- Arduino SMS shield for connectivity redundancy, messaging via Twilio.
- Status LEDs so we know what’s going on in that little Arduino brain.
- Facebook API connectivity.
- Find Cooper’s Pale cans in Singapore.
- JSON parsing code help: Andy Gelme, Melbourne CCHS (@geekscape)
- Wi-Fi shield library mod help for Arduino Leonardo: Stephan February, SG Hackerspace (@stephanfeb)
After being featured on HackADay, a few questions have been emailed in about the model of machine we hacked. It’s a Koolatron 10-Can Vending Machine. It can be bought from Amazon.com, but the cheapest we found at time of production was HomeDepot for USD$99.
NB: re voltage. Aussie, UK or Singaporeans – it’s 110V and needs at least a 500W Peak 220v-110v stepdown converter to operate, which can be quite costly.