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Chaos Calmer Bot

Pneumatic robot that can mix, shake with ice and serve the world famous cocktail "Chaos Calmer" from openWRT for RoboExotica.

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There has always been a human babysitting a cocktail robot, usually by shaking the cocktails for the machines. And I have always wondered, why this is such a difficult task and over the years I have crystallized the following problem:
1) Actuator: Electrical motors are generally too weak or too slow to properly shake a shaker.
2) Shaker: Opening and closing tightly the shaker is even for some humans pretty complicated task, even screwing a jar requires a lot of expensive actuators and a lot of degrees of freedom at which point, coordinating the movement is getting complicating requiring hundreds of hours to implement.
3) Mixing: Usually done with time controlled peristaltic pumps, usually pretty slow thus not really enjoyable.
4) Serving: Getting the cocktail out of the bot can be sometimes tricky and this is what makes it usually look like a huge coffee dispenser, which I hated and the reason is, putting liquid from one cup to another has the same problem as 2).
5) Cleaning: yeah

Roboexotica is a festival where robots are exhibited which makes cocktails for you.

Why? Because future is now.

There, juries from monochrom.at (the main organizers) announce the "Annual Cocktail Robot Award" (=ACRA) since 1999.

This year at ACRA22, my creation won the "Innovation Award", since I am tacking a problem yet unsolved since the last century (1999 is 20th century). Which is how to shake a proper cocktail.


What I realized was, that the difficult part of the shaking-process is not the shaking it self, although it is fairy complicated, but the actually problem is to close the shaker tightly, so that it doesn't spill it all over the place.


"Done is better than perfect" is a mindset which I learned during the past 5 years as an exhibitor at Roboexotica, so to lower the entrance barrier, I decided to build my robots at the exhibition. Of couse, the brainstorming, planning, solving problems and collecting parts happens before the exhibition, since these activities are passively time consuming. So all the parts collected come together and at the end of each year, I got something working, which is the main goal of the event for me.

The event enables me to get into the flow state, where i cannot distract myself with life and I can purely focus on my project.

I also see value in me actually making something there, so people can watch me, making things, which is the very process I enjoy doing, even though I look tired, frustrated and stressed.
And since I have proven my skills, people come to me during the exhibition when they need something fixed or a tool or a part, and I am happy to help, since I believe that the fundamental value of a human derives from actually helping other humans. (See also Yuval Noah Harari oncooperation)

I have been at roboexotica since I was a kid and I visited Roboexotica over many years and I observed the evolution, trends and innovation of robots which would classify as "absurd" in common sense. But I always saw my self actualization in this very field, and I even worked as an actual bartender, to master the craft of making cocktails. There I learned that there are many techniques for shaking, pouring and mixing cocktails, and by making my very own cocktail robot, I can preserve this know how and skill for the future humanity, in which I see value.

I hope that there will follow many more marvellous Roboexoticas and every year, I will keep working on this robot, to serve the "Cup of God" (A perfect cocktail to save your soul. In the sence of the anime "Bartender")

And I hope that you will be able to enjoy it one night.

In that sense, I hope you enjoy my project logs, friends of the night.

x-arduino - 15.55 kB - 09/13/2021 at 19:12

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  • 1 × ESP8266
  • 1 × Relay Module
  • 1 × openWRT capable router
  • 1 × aluminum profiel
  • 1 × pneumatic cylinder

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  • It's aliiiive! Muhahaha! (I got it to work on the final day)

    Kenny.Industries09/13/2021 at 18:41 0 comments

  • How far did I came during ACRA v22?

    Kenny.Industries09/12/2021 at 20:04 0 comments

    1) Put together the compressor

    2) I built in the electrical circuits which I made at ACRAv21 (during the online stream, which was lost due to configuration errors.

    3) I put together the upper arm and lower arm with pneumatics

    4) Programmed basic state based functions for the compressor and the arm.

    Sources can be found here: https://github.com/KennyAwesome/ChaosCalmerBot/blob/master/chaosCalmerHardwaretest.ino

    5) it moved at the end of this roboexotica. Link fill follow.

    6) I set up an old router with openWRT and configured the ssh banner to the chaos calmer version. (because that specific version is depricated.)

    7) Configured rpi a bit, but was not leading anywere dring this acra so i allocated my resourced to archieve 5)

    8) A visitor also helped me design the head of the robot, but I could not bring the local 3D printer to print me something, I left it be for future features. I liked that he misunderstood roboexotica with robonautica. One day, we might have cocktail robots on mars then that festival could be called "Robonautica".xD

  • ACRA v22 @DH5 (Linz, Austria)

    Kenny.Industries09/12/2021 at 19:41 0 comments

    "The same procedure as every year." - Well said in "Dinner for one". My procedure for ACRA (Annual Cocktail Robot Award) is:
    1) Working on the vision of the project for years (every year a different robot idea)

    2) Collecting parts.

    3) Try out a bit and realize I bought the wrong parts.

    4) Go to local hardware stores/home improvement stores and buy expensive replacement.

    5) Re peat 2 - 4 until it is already time for ACRA.

    6) Throw all the parts into my huge suitcases which becomes super heavy.

    7) Bring the parts to Roboexotica and build it there.

    8) Get it to do something, which was only a small part of what I actualy wanted to achieve.

    9) Still get some awards for special categories, because I take the liberty to just do what I want there.

    10) Be happy that my efforts has been acknowledged by the jury.

    This year, my bot won the "innovation award", which made me super happy, because it is truely something I have been working on.
    I wanted to see a cocktail robot, which shakes proper cocktails.

    And this year I said to myself:
    1) Do one thing and do it well: Only one cocktail. (Unfortunate it did not came that far, but made the project less complex.

    2) Implement the most important feature: The shaking arm. (I got it moving, link will be updated later.

    3) Enjoy the process, don't get too attached to the award itself or the money. So I was just making it, without serving it. Occasionally explaining it to people I liked.

    4) Help others for their repairs, since I have occupated the workshop for myself.

    5) Performance art: How innovations are born: Out of necessecity.

    6) Don't get lost in planning, just get started.

    Every project of mine so far has questions I want answers to. This year, I was asking: "What is an ideal human?" Of course, there are many answers to this question. But I realized of the conceptualization phase, that the ideal human does not need tools, because it has already the capability it desires as body functions. For instance, if you had the ability to remember everything instantly (like fotographic memory) there would be no need to buy an ebook reader, since you coud just go to library and look through the pages super fast and then you can just access that later. Since we don't have them all, since we cannot have them all, we have to accept, that we as humans cannot be ideal. Therefore we will always need tools. Therefore we need to take care and improve the tools we use in order to live.
    Since the idealization is based on skills and the preservation of valuable skills becomes apparent. And the nature of a skill is a request. Because there is no meaning in having a skill when you don't use it. And when it is a skill which you don't need for yourself, then the only time one will need that skill, is when asked to. One of the fundamental value of a human lies in the ability to help other creatures unconditionally. Thus this ideal skill will need ot be a request. Since an ideal human does not die, because it has the ability to live forever, the ideal human boils down to wait for the request for the valuable skill for humanity. In a sense, it is a "Genie" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genie_(Disney) ) That Genie also confirms that he does not need tools to fulfill the request. 
    And here lies the double edges sword: Since a Genie can do everything, you have to formulate carefully.


    If I were to create such an ideal human, I would "verewigen" (german word for "eternalize") my skill as a bartender for shaking a proper cocktail. The value of a proper cocktail are fundamentally the following three:
    1) Alcohol

    2) Sugar

    3) Entertainment

    The reason why most cocktails are shaken and not stirred is, because by shaking, you cool down the cocktail so the taste of alcohol and sugar are not that annoying, since our taste buds are less sensitive when the operating temperature is low. The dilemma is, if you shake too slowly or too long (usually in combination) then the cocktail will suck, because it will be watery and not really cool. Thus there is a sweetspot...

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  • Planning the road map

    Kenny.Industries07/03/2020 at 21:07 0 comments

    KW -> calender week in german abbreviation

    Project start: KW27

    Roboexotica KW48

    -> I have 21 Weeks, so for each step I can use 2 Weeks roughtly, I will be busy with other stuff in life so wouldn't be too generous with it.

    Week 1: Compressor

    Week 16: Testest some neumatic parts for the compressor, but cannot decide for a final design and thus postponed the deadline for one year. Should probably make a blueprint as I did in my good old days with pencil and paper. 

  • Brainstorm - Silence Before the storm

    Kenny.Industries07/03/2020 at 17:24 0 comments

    Metric recipe for Chaos Calmer:

    4,4cl gin, want to use quality gin like "The Duke" (external link)
    0,74cl triple sec, might be replaced with hops-liquor by "Hopfa" (See external link)
    2,2 cl lime juice
    4,4cl orange juice
    0,5cl grenadine

    Total 12.24 cl

    Is a usual serving at a bar from my experience. It is actually measured in volume but for my project I will need this recipe in grams, which we will do in the future with a syringe and a precision scale. I want to measure the bottles with the liquids constantly to be able to measure out the liquids and not running on empty, which can be a little bit fatal, because I want to pressurize the bottles (not too much) like a kegerator, in that way, I don't need the ugly and slow peristaltic motors.

    I have once made a simple robot arm with just a dc motor and at the pivot point a potentiometer. This robot will get ice from a rotatable carrousel with dispensable cups (hopefully paper, since it has a flat bottom and more environmentally friendly) and everything will be controlled via mqtt on a raspberry pi and a 12v simple router (not running openWRT....yeah kinda defeats it's purpose). I chose mqtt because it is flexible and asynchronous and i love ESP8622, and I want to expland my knowledge with ESP32 this time, I hope it does not escalate too much. This approach keeps the option open to have a ESP or even nodeRed server on the raspberry to control the whole thing, which does not involve tiresome debugging. It decouples the application (making cocktail) from the firmware (controlling motors) which is a good practice, since my things are usually hardcoded, which is not a good practice.

    I specifically chose one cocktail, because I wanted to focus on the reduction of human interaction, because I don't like babysitting robots. Makes me feel like a bad cog in a machine. I have been at roboexotica many times also as exhibitor, and you have to explain your robot everytime to everyone to sell your cocktail to finance back a little bit, because making robots is usually not cheap and I want to refund my travelling costs.

    The idea for the cocktail shaker took me two years to come up: There is a stainless steel container with acrylic lid which is hinged. This hinge will be the middle point for some aluminum profile piece which is connected with a pneumatic cylinder. My hope is, that the pressure of the pneumatic cylinder is great enough to close it airtight but easy to open with the pneumatic cylinder. On the lid, there is a hole for stainless steel quick push. There will be only one hose and it will be connected to a manifold which is connected to the bottle of spirits and water. The bottles has air inlets with seperate electromagnetic valves, and i hope that the low pressure will be enough otherwise i have to put seperate flow regulators on each valve afterwards. Need to test. Currently I am not sure, whether i should open the valves seperately or at the same time.  

    This shaker is mounted on the right arm which is pneumatic. It should be removable for cleaning. There will be a load cell on lower arm, not taking the full load like the openDog from Xrobots but mounted in parallel. My hope is, that through the maximal weight, an appropriate acceleration can be calibrated or maybe just a threshold. but definitely a interesting data to look at. Because shaking requires timing, which cannot be hardcoded, otherwise it won't shake well. Since pneumatics cannot be really well position controlled (possible but requires precise pressure difference controlling with some absolute measuring point) i would mount several hall sensors to also trigger the shaking motion. I am currently thinking whether I should use a AS5600 magnetic encoder or something to be able to control the motion more precisely.

    It is my vice and virtue to pursuit beauty in motion and my ideal shaking technique is shaking up and down with one arm. You can find it in the link collection under "Shaking technique". I could have made...

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View all 5 project logs

  • 1
    How to start building a cocktail robot?

    1) Take a piece of paper.
    2) Write down budget.
    3) Buy: Power supply, Actuators, Control board, cables and scrap metal and wood.
    4) Figure out how it fits together.
    5) Put them together.
    6) Test
    7) If it fails, write down problems you observe.
    8) Wait until you find solution.
    9) Note the solution on that piece of paper.
    10) Implement solution.
    11) Repeat  from 6.

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Kenny.Industries wrote 09/13/2021 at 19:19 point

What kind of garnish would you like to see implemented?

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