Ever since the invention of the cocktail, humanity has been plagued with opening multiple bottles, mixing, shaking, muddling, and straining ingredients whenever someone wanted to wet their whistle. This time-consuming process could soon be a thing of the past thanks to the Open Bar project.
Submitted to the Automation section of the 2016 Hackaday Prize contest, the Open Bar is a “robot with a GUI that can autonomously mix and pour cocktails.” It isn’t the prettiest booze bot we’ve come across, or the most refined, but keep in mind that the Open Bar is a work in progress.
The Open Bar is also open source. The creators of the project wrote on their Hackaday page that one of the things that separates the Open Bar from other automated drink robots is that anyone with time, desire, and a soldering gun can build their own. The project log on the hardware side hasn’t been released yet (most likely because the Open Bar is currently undergoing a redesign), but the source code is already up on Github.
“The hardware design is meant to be easily reproducible for most anyone,” writes Tyler, one of the creators of the project. “It is based on easily available components and can be adapted easily to various environments. The initial design can be easily implemented with a cooler for your tailgating pleasure, or with a mini-fridge for a more permanent solution. The software will be installed on a Raspberry Pi 3 and made available in source-code format for modification, or as a simple image download for the not so tech savvy.”
If the Open Bar ever makes it out of the basement and into a restaurant, QR code wristbands will be used to automate the drink-ordering process. After accessing the community-maintained drink list and selecting a cocktail, users will then scan their QR code wristband at the machine to receive their drinks.
While the Open Bar might be a hit at your next house party, this machine isn’t going to replace bartenders anytime soon. Even more developed projects, such as The Inebriator, can’t perform simple tasks such as cutting limes or shaking ingredients, and we’ve yet to see a booze bot with a witty repartee.