I originally thought of this project as I was getting ready to get started in making my own latex prosthetics for cosplay. In researching how-to pages on the project, I found that multi-part latex has to be mixed with changing speeds at specific intervals over a period of time. I hunted for a mixer that would do that, but when prices started getting into the four-digit range I gave up (I barely took a look at those prices).
I imagine that some recipes for actual food have a similar requirement. Sure, one can stand by the blender and change the speeds at the appropriate time, but why not build the mixer so it can adjust itself? So, I've decided to develop and build my own.
Here's a detailed look at the features I'll be wanting for this:
- Plenty of power for getting through tough dough (or latex).
- 10 speeds, roughly matching those of existing 10-speed mixers
- Electronic control system using an Arduino platform (though I'm flexible enough to consider Raspberry Pi or others)
- Turns the bowl so you don't have to
- Can make audible signals (possibly including Alexa's voice) when done, or at other points in the mixing process
- Easy to quickly disengage and remove the bowl
- Ethernet, WiFi, and USB connections (though the Ethernet may be removed)
- Connectivity to Alexa
At this time I'm still debating whether to build the mixer more or less from scratch, or modify an existing one. For now I'm assuming the former.
Here's a (work-in-progress) list of the parts I figure I'll need for this:
- Arduino-compatible board - Right now leaning toward the Seeeduino Cloud, which has WiFi and Ethernet built in (eliminating the need for the first two shields below)
- WiFi Shield*
- Ethernet Shield (or Breakout) (not sure about this)
- Servo/Motor Controller Shield (maybe 2)
- Sound/Speaker Shield
- Touchscreen Shield (or Breakout)
*All the WiFi shields that I can find have prototyping areas on half their surface, which can be used pretty easily to make connections to Breakouts if such are needed.
- High-speed motor for blender attachment
- Attachment holder (what the blades etc. are plugged in to)
- Medium-speed motor or servo to move and/or rotate the blade attachments
- Low- to medium-speed motor or servo to raise and lower the mixer arm
- Power cord
- 5V power supply (for the Arduino and other electronics)
- LiPo battery (to keep the electronics going when the overall machine is off, allowing for remote power-on)
- On/Off button
- 3 (or more?) Low-power controllers for high-power motors (one for each motor)
- Enclosure (probably 3D-printed, though there are a couple of other options)
- Rubber feet/base
- Hinge(s) for the mixer arm to fold back on
- Mounting hardware (for the internal parts)
- PC control app
- Android control app
- Alexa Skill to link control app
- If there's interest, maybe iOS control app and/or linking to other systems (such as Google Home)