The BarBot – Touchscreen Automated Drink Maker

I’ve been working with 3D printers for a while now. Watching them move and print can be mesmerizing. I wanted to make a fun gadget that would demonstrate my skills and create an interactive conversation piece for a party. Hence The BarBot. It’s not a new idea but, I knew I could do it better than most that I’ve seen online and take it a step or two further.

Custom Designed Printed Circuit Board

My BarBot features two stepper motors to create linear actuation in two directions; Move the drink from bottle to bottle and dispense the ingredients. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Along with the motors there are two end switches to home the motors so they know their positions. I designed and printed all the plastic parts. The horizontal linear actuator is a single steal rail with two rail guides. eBay Link to Steal Rails

Also my dispensers measure one shot every time. Making it do half shots and quarter shots is much tricker. Here’s a link to those racks where I used two for 12 bottles. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q42XL9Q

I have an Arduino Uno controlling the motors and acting as the I/O controller. From there I have the Uno connected via USB Serial to the Raspberry Pi. Connected to the Raspberry Pi is a 7″ touchscreen and a 1080p Camera with an extended ribbon cable for camera placement.

The main brains (RasPi) boots up directly to my custom application that holds the drink database, system state (making drink, current ingredient, motors homed, etc), and real-time communication to the motors. I developed the applications using Javascript with Node.JS, C programming language, Socket.IO and JSON.

This project is intended to demonstrate my Software, Electrical, Mechanical and Automation skills. I hope you like it. I am still adding more features and fine tuning the system. Stay tuned for more. Check out my YouTube Channel for updates. https://www.youtube.com/c/ConsultingjoeOnline

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VR Supervisor

VR Supervisor Software Solution

Here was a solution I created for computer management problem. My client tasked me with creating a management tool to control his Virtual Reality systems. I was able to do just that; I created a server/client control software that allows the staff to control a single VR station or all eight stations at once. It allows the user to start or end a VR application. Other features include a timer with audible indications and WiFi LED integration.

Software Platform – Node.JS – JavaScript

I wrote the applications with NodeJS, a popular server-side JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Companies like Netflix, LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay and even NASA use NodeJS to solve problems and make tasks more efficient. NASA even uses NodeJS to decrease the number of procedural steps from 28 to 7 in processing data to ensure astronauts stay safe and alive. Learn more about the EVA Space Suits at NASA’s website. (NASA Reference)

More Features

There is no limit to how many VR stations my software can support. They would just fill-in the content window of the admin console page and they would all subscribe to a real-time network connection. You can choose to adjust the volume of an individual station or all eight stations at once. You can select colors, modes and patterns for the projector screen’s WiFi backlit LEDs. The same LEDs integrate with the timer system to alert staff and players that time is running out. From then, time could be extended or the system can be configured to automatically terminate the active game or application. The VR Supervisor will also index configured folders for available executable applications to allow the staff to select and end only installed applications.

Consulting Joe for Your Next Idea

Moral here is reach out to bring your ideas to life. I can make both tangible and intangible products, or both that work seamlessly together. So Consult Joe Today.

Also check out: http://gammavr.com/

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Siri Toilet Flusher

Siri Enabled Toilet Flusher

This was a fun project just because. My friend gave me a challenge a while back to see if I could flush my toilet with Siri. So I did. Here’s How.

Above is a video demonstration. Basically I used and Arduino Yún. Can check them out here: https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-yun
They have since retired this product. It was a $75 microprocessor with a Linux SoC or System on a Chip. It included wifi and bridge software to link the Arduino Microprocessor with the Linux computer. Using that I wrote a virtual home automation device that was called, Toilet Flusher. Then you just ask Siri to, “Turn on the Toilet Flusher”, and voila.

Check out the ConsultingJoe YouTube Channel for More!
https://www.youtube.com/c/ConsultingjoeOnline

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Siri Apple Watch to Indigo Home Automation

Home Automation Bridge for iOS & Indigo Home Automation

Here’s a cool example of some of my software engineering experience and problem solving. I wanted to control my Christmas Tree lights with my Apple Watch and Siri. The problem was my home automation software didn’t support HomeKit, yet. So I did some research and found a piece of software that allowed you to create virtual home automation devices.

My home automation platform and software is a Mac and Indigo Home Automation, the best home automation software on the Mac hands down. So at the time, Indigo didn’t support my Siri commands through HomeKit. I was able to create a fairly simple script that would create a dynamic passthrough of home automation commands on Siri with home automation devices on Indigo. It would map the device and action so when you say, “Turn on the Christmas Tree Lights”, my script would receive the commands then ask Indigo using AppleScript to turn on the Christmas Tree Lights’ device. AppleScript is Apple’s plain english like programming language.

Below is a video demonstration and the open-source code to try it for yourself.

Open Source: https://github.com/jsammarco/IndigoHomekitBridge

Check out The ConsultingJoe YouTube Channel for More.
http://www.youtube.com/c/ConsultingjoeOnline

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USB Distance Sensor and Software

I have created a simple distance sensing device with an Arduino Mega and an ultrasonic distance sensor to measure up to 5 feet. Also it is communicating to the host computer via USB at 115200 baud which allows for fast data updates and precision.

Below is a mockup of the software to customize and extend the uses of the device. Do anything from scroll through the web with hand gestures or create an invisible tripwire in your room or doorway. You can even use it to count customers entering your store or how many times your front door opened throughout the day.

Use if for real world data analytics or to improve energy efficiency around the house .

I plan to sell my distance device for a low price to get it into people’s hands and to cover my time in the software. I believe the software to this product will create the most value to average customers of all ages. My price point in mind is $24 on a production scale. But if you have a useful idea for this that has distance measuring needs I would create a custom one with some basic software for $50. It can be expanded on and it’s open source so all the code is available online.

Over the weekend my friends and I had a chuckle by creating a tripline to play randomized fart sound effects. Anything someone would grab a beer in the kitchen they would get a new fart noise. Goofy but a good example of the many uses it can serve. My favorite is scrolling through web pages when reading articles online. You can control volume or skip the song on iTunes. My devices is like a one dimensional Leap Motion. A Leap motion can see your hands in 3D and can do endless number of gestures. to control your computer, interface with software or play guys with your hands being the controllers.

Checkout the Store to see if it pops up in the near future. 😉

Goodbye for now.
-Joe

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