A robot made our coffee this morning. A Lego Mindstorm NXT robot.
Robots are freeing us from every day tasks and constantly making our lives easier. And yes, you can buy a coffee machine that has a clock and all the rest of the functions we built here. The problem is, we have a coffee maker that’s approaching 10 years old. It can’t do all those things newer, fancier coffee makers do. But we’d still like to have our coffee made before we start the day.
So we made the robot and it’s built from Mindstorm NXT, RobotC, and the Dexter Industries dSwitch. The dSwitch controls the coffeemaker, and the NXT controls the dSwitch. Here’s how it works:
- You set the current time and the time you want the coffee to be made.
- You start the program.
- The NXT counts down, and when it’s time for coffee, it switches the dSwitch on, and thus the coffee maker turns on.
- After 15 minutes, the robot turns the coffee maker off, and the NXT counts down the time since the coffee was made (these last steps are key, because we always leave the coffee maker on).