The Making of Foodbot

Article by our Creative Technologist Summer 2014 Intern, Tam Tze Siang

History has been made, the future of food is here. Soylent is a food substitute intended to supply all of a human body’s daily nutritional needs, made from powdered starch, rich protein, olive oil and raw chemical powder.

We are big fans of Soylent, because of the cost, convenience and health management benefits it provides. It’s a great idea but a single recipe isn’t right for everyone because different person requires different nutrients to fuel their daily activities.

At Metalworks, we evolve good ideas into great ideas and that lead us to build Foodbot. Foodbot makes it easy to mix a perfect soylent-style meal, adjusted daily to give you the nutrient you need. It connects all our activity and health tracking system such as Fitbit, Nike+, Runkeeper and more, to keep track of our calories burned, hours of sleeps we got, and dispense the macro and micro nutrients to you accordingly .

Breaking apart and rebuilding it

We break three Fish feeders apart and connected their DC motors directly to our Arduino so that we have control over the nutrients that are dispensing.

The challenging part is that the gears that rotates the auger for dispensing has low revolution. Thus, finer grain of ingredients might not be dispensed as quickly as we would. We 3D-printed our own auger but it doesn’t fit in as perfectly as we thought.

Testing the dispensing ability of the dispenser

In order to dispense liquid ingredient, we utilise the motor pump of Lysol Hand Soap Dispenser. Again, we broke this apart and connect its DC motor to our own Arduino microcontroller.

Same goes for the micro-nutrients dispenser, with its motor connected to the Arduino.

Same goes for the micro-nutrients dispenser, with its motor connected to the Arduino.

Tze Siang and Grael tests out the liquid dispenser. 


Tze Siang and Grael tests out the liquid dispenser. 

The ingredients are dispensed into a funnel and then to bottle below.


The ingredients are dispensed into a funnel and then to bottle below.

The rest of the structure was built with cardboard, putty, glue and spray. Following is the inside of the structure before we mount the screen. The ingredients are dispensed into a funnel and then to the bottle below.

Screenshots of the foodbot’s screen, where one can set up his profile, modify the amount nutrients and etc below.

Finally the entire structure when it’s assemble. Our Foodbot prototype.


Finally the entire structure when it’s assemble. Our Foodbot prototype.