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KegDroid: Combining Arduino, Android, and NFC to Dispense Beer 48

mikejuk writes, quoting I Programmer: "If you are looking for an exciting hardware project, KegDroid deserves a look. It is a sophisticated system that involves Android, Arduino, NFC, plumbing and — beer. Perhaps the final stroke of genius is to package the whole thing in a Droid body. Some how the little green fella looks at home on the bar. You have heard of desktop and laptop apps now we have bartop apps to add to the list" Details are fuzzy currently, but from all appearances this is a repackaged KegBot in a very fancy shell. (Video for those without Flash.)

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KegDroid: Combining Arduino, Android, and NFC to Dispense Beer

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  • did similar (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Monday April 30, 2012 @10:42PM (#39853579) Journal

    No where near as cool as this, but I did do a similar project several years ago. Holds a party keg of Guinness.

    http://s14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/arsonsmith/R2-K3G/ [photobucket.com]

    • That's pretty slick. Nice work.
    • Nice, but there is a call for you, a lawyer for George Lucas.
      • Been doing star wars props for years. He is actually very friendly towards the 1 off and small run of things. There are clubs that specialize in it like the R2 Builders club, the 501st Stormtrooper legion and many others that are all fan made and fan driven. the 501st works directly with Lucas Film on many promotional and such.

    • by JazzLad ( 935151 )

      No where near as cool as this ...

      I should hope not, Guinness should be room temp!

      Kidding aside, that's awesome.

      • Guiness is generally served at cellar temperature, or around 10C (50F). I don't know if it's still around, but when I was in a pub in England a while back it was available as "cold" and "extra cold".

        • I'm told by the British chap at work that "extra cold" is for the damn yanks. In his words "You yanks wouldn't need to keep your beer so bloody cold if it didn't taste so bad!"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Drinking beer has gotten to be very boring for me"

    Clearly you're doing it wrong.

  • The app that had the beer pouring continuously out of the phone. That would be a great one. Impossible, yes, but great. This would be more useful if I could program a bot to pick one up from a designated location and then deliver it to a certain point with several delivery locations. That way your droid bot could serve out ice cold brewskies and you don't have to miss any of the game. No pre-existing hardware needed. As long as there is a path of no resistance, bingo, fresh beer.
  • by wizkid ( 13692 ) on Monday April 30, 2012 @11:37PM (#39853939) Homepage

    When they get kegdroid to pour a beer without foam, then I'll consider it.

    • This is an awesome project / prototype! I have a keg fridge in the garage and I totally need one of those to pick from a couple beer options. But why not go with biometric and a thumb??
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When they get kegdroid to pour a beer without foam, then I'll consider it.

      It would be faster to just pour your own beer, and with 90% less foam.

    • It was quite telling when he said "It's very foamy today" in a slightly embarrassed voice as if he knew that always happens but didn't want to give that impression.

      This is also one of the few times when the comments on youtube are not rabid and insulting, to the point that they are even trying to help!

      Yes the line was empty, but I fear he will always have this problem with that flow rate and the location of the solenoids. For a more smooth pour I recommend that he use bottle fillers. They fill from the bottom. I would be much more impressed if there were sensors detecting the size of glass, quality of pour via camera thermometers etc.

      screamingservers in reply to Micah Munger 5 hours ago

      The analysis of the location of the solenoids is mostly where the problem coming from. In my experience with building kegerators, I have found issues with the gas getting knocked out of solution causing foam up in the lines when placing any kind of intermediary connection away from the tap itself. If he made the line from the tap to the solenoid almost nothing, then it would likely become almost a non-issue.

      majostm in reply to screamingservers 1 hour ago

  • So no internet, no beer?
  • what a lazy project (Score:4, Interesting)

    by n3r0.m4dski11z ( 447312 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @12:44AM (#39854221) Homepage Journal

    "Despite all the fancy electronics and the UI, it still seems to be difficult to get a glass of beer rather than a glass of mostly foam. Surely there is some solution to this problem in a combination of hardware and software?"

    It doesnt even work!
    What they added:
    - a touch interface which downloads your facebook photo
    - solenoids to control the beer taps (useless)
    - thats it

    And to answer the authors question, the reason they are probably getting too much head is any one of the following:
    1) incorrect temperature
    2) wrong diameter / length of beer hose
    3) wrong PSI on c02 injection
    4) its overcarbinated because of point #3 and needs to bleed
    5) contamination
    6) air leaks in tap / fittings
    7) unlcean equipment

    Im all for novelty, but this is crap. If you want to see a better project, here are 358 pages of them: "Show us your keggerator" [homebrewtalk.com] thread.

    • by MisterMidi ( 1119653 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @01:49AM (#39854453) Homepage

      To be fair, all it does is open and close the valve to control whether it should or shouldn't give beer. The guy is doing the rest of the work and it looks like he's never poured a keg before.

      • He doesn't use a clean glass. He should first rinse the glass in cold water to clean and cool it.
      • He opens the tap just a bit, this guarantees to create a lot of foam. He should open and close it completely and quickly.
      • The angle is wrong; he should start at about 45 degrees and then gradually move it towards a vertical position. Holding the glass at a too small angle like he does will generate too much foam.
    • Point 3 is where you're going wrong. If it uses CO2 delivery, it's not beer, it's some pishy fizzy drink.

  • I could see this being kind of cool for "self service" at a bar. However, at home it seems rather lame. Too many steps between me and my beer.
  • Let's just count the buzz-circles:

    1. Android: +3 (computer, free, linux)
    2. Arduino: +3 (artsy, blinky, shiny)
    3. Beer: +1
    4. synergy points for overlapping circles of idiocy: 3

    We got a 10!

    That's like scrap-booking while sitting on a Martha Stewart chair cushion and sipping pink Zinfandel.
    That's like wearing a beer hat with a chewing tabacco dispenser while noodling for catfish.

  • Maybe put one of these in while you are at it.

    http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/520078286-MQ-3-Alcohol-Ethanol-Sensor-Module-Breathalyser-Gas-Checker-Breath-Detector-090346-wholesalers.html [aliexpress.com]

    If you are thinking of driving home, it would be a helluva lot cheaper if this device told you about it before the Highway Patrol does.

  • Good lord, 30 seconds into that video my brain shut down in self defense. How did he manage to make beer boring?

    • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

      Not only, that, he managed to take a relatively fun and trivially simple thing (pouring a beer from a tap) and turn it into an absurdly complex and yet totally ineffective process (not only was it all foam, but he had to turn on the tap ANYWAY).

      • I've worked with people like that - amazing abilities to take simple concepts/designs and turn them into over engineered buggy pieces of crap. And dev meetings expand from 30 min sprints to 3 hour marathons unless you gag them.

  • ...not just app coding. Trying to dispense a measured solid volume of beer in the form of an expanding compressible foam is challenging, but that's how a tap works. That's why making a perfect pour is a skill for a bartender to learn. The most obvious failure here is trying to measure the beer quantity with a volumetric flow sensor. That's absolutely useless - and anyone who's ever worked on beer dispensing equipment would know that if they had a hint of engineering sense! A mass flow sensor would be g
    • A mass flow sensor would be good, but extremely expensive.

      Until the beer comes out of the tap, it is unexpanded, so knowing the density is enough to turn volumetric flow into mass flow.

      • Nobody's reading this anymore, possibly including you, but I'll write it anyway. The beer begins foaming as soon as it is exposed to a pressure any less than the vapor pressure of CO2 dissolved into it, combined with sufficient (minimal) agitation or surface roughness in the plumbing to cause nucleation. Thus, it starts foaming as soon as it passes through any sort of restriction in the plumbing. Good beer plumbing minimizes foaming by reducing turbulence and minimizing pressure differentials, but it can