During a long night in our lab at Maker Austria we were joking around, that we need some “inspiration” and help pouring GinTonic into our glasses. A bar-bot would be nice and my brain started getting creative instantly.
A standard barbot looks kind of techie, cold, anonymous and therefore i wanted to make it more attractive. Who could be better for serving alcohol than “Bender Bending Rodriguez” the selfish insensitive, rude, drinking, smoking, Robot from Futurama. Using Aluminium rails and other stuff for the tech part was not cool enough for me as well and therefore I decided to use the Lego Mindstorms Evo 3 set of my kids to serve the liquids.
Starting on a drawing board and getting the measurements right took some hours and selecting and buying material some additional ones.
Bender consists of: EVA foam yoga mats, plywood, styrofoam globes, empty wineglass packaging, swimming noodles, PET bottle blanks, a lot of hotglue and a can of plastidip gun-metal-gray.
After being satisfied with the looks i moved on to the actual mechanical stuff.
The Mindstorms Brick got a different OS via SDcard in order to be more flexible in coding than the standard Lego Bricklanguage provides. A distribution called ev3dev gave me the possibility to have a debian linux together with python and an api to control the various lego peripherals.
Even the pumps were done in Lego (with a little help of ONE 3D printed part and some silicone rubber hoses.)
After some programming and tests bender was able to serve GinTonic for our 3years party in our makerspace and everybody was happy, I even got a request for borrowing him for a conference (which I did, but there the trouble started…)
Bender looks good, can serve GinTonic, but… serving liquids based on a previous time measure for the correct amount is insufficiant, one cocktail takes ages, tonic is a bitch as it is a very bubbky sticky liquid and after some drinks everything just stopped working.