A drink mixing robot

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Ever since seeing the Barbot ( on Hack-A-Day last year, I thought it would be a fun project to get my feet wet with. The name is a work in progress. My buddy suggested "Sir Mix-A-Lot" and have it play a song while mixing the drink... ya know, something like "Oh, my, god. Becky, look at that drink. It is so big."

I've been fascinated with micro-controllers and electronics as of late, and this is my first project.

  • Been a while...

    gmccauley07/13/2014 at 20:56 0 comments

    Well, it's been a while since I posted anything...sorry about that...  I've been busy and working off and on (more off than on unfortunately).  So a quick recap of the last 2 months...

    I wasn't happy with the way QT looked...and since I've never used it before I also wasn't very happy with the learning curve required just for the software piece.  I have enough of a learning curve with the electronic components piece.  so I wound up ditching QT for Android.  With help from this blog (, I was able to get Android installed on the BBB.

    I also build a board that my pumps will plug into.  It connects to a proto board on the BBB and allows the 3V from the BBB GPIO pins to turn on the 12V that the pumps require.  I'll post pics and draw up a schematic at a later point.

    I've gotten enough of the software coded to do some testing.

    Between the board and the software, I have enough for a functional prototype.  Now I just need to build a chassis.  Below is a quick video demonstrating the Android App turning the motors on and off based on the drink selected.

  • Need a new name!

    gmccauley05/27/2014 at 02:00 0 comments

    Using Derek Molly's video (and some google searches and tweaking) I was finally able to get QTCreator running in an Ubuntu VM and can cross-compile and deploy to the BBB.

    I would document everything I did, but to be honest, I'm not sure what all I had to do to get it all working.  The download links that Derek used are no longer valid and I had to find alternatives which required a little bit of tweaking.

    But the most important part for this entry is that I need a new name!  Just for the hell of it, I searched "Mix-A-Bot" in google, and found someone already had a robot arm and named it Sir Mix-A-Bot.  :-(

    Currently taking suggestions...  *hint*hint*

  • No WiFi...for now

    gmccauley05/25/2014 at 18:18 0 comments

    Well, I spent most of yesterday trying to get the WiFi dongle to work...No Joy...  I was able to get it to connect once and pull an IP Address via DHCP, but as soon as I rebooted it stopped working.  :-(

    Going to put that on the back burner so I can start working on the GUI so I can get a proof of concept working.

  • The touchscreen has arrived

    gmccauley05/24/2014 at 03:37 0 comments

    The touchscreen arrived today..  To my surprise, I plugged in the BBB and gave it power and it worked right out of the box without any modifications...  YAY!!!

    Thanks to Derek Molloy and his videos (, I think I'm gonna try QT for the gui.  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I can cross compile from Windows.  Thanks to Windows 8 and Hyper-V, I have Ubuntu installing on a VM as I type...

    Next on my to-do list is to try and get the WiFi dongle that came with one of my Raspberry Pi's to work on the BBB.

  • Getting Started

    gmccauley05/21/2014 at 17:56 0 comments

    I'm still in the experimental stages.  I purchased a Beagle Bone Black as the brains of Mix-A-Bot based on the vast amount of GPIOs.  While a simple drink mixing robot probably doesn't need that many GPIOs, like with everything I do, I have ideas of grandeur when it comes to sensors and the like.  I'd like for Mix-A-Bot to be able to sense when a glass is present or not so as to not make a mess.  I'd also like to sense when a bottle is empty so as to not offer a drink using that bottle.  I'd also like to use a sensor to determine when the glass is getting close to full so it doesn't matter if you use a shot glass or a red solo cup and have Mix-A-Bot fill the glass/cup automagically.

    I've had the BBB for a while now, and I bought two pumps to try out then the project kinda stalled.

    I just purchased a 7 inch touchscreen which should be here this week.  I'll start working on programming a basic GUI for the touchscreen and then get something put together for a very basic proof of concept and then I can start adding nice to haves.

    I'm still debating on wireless/mobile access.  I'm thinking the touchscreen should be more than enough.  I've also been kicking around the idea of RFID tags to be able to offer favorite drinks based on which tag is scanned and keep track of who made which drink based on which tag was scanned.

    I think the hardest part of this project is going to be a power supply given my limited knowledge to this point of power and electronics....but hey...gotta learn somehow.  :-)

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