Developed by Google senior developer advocate Paul Carff and senior software engineer David Sainte-Claire, the duo have combined a Motorola Xoom tablet using NFC integration with a beer dispensing Android robot to create the KegDroid. Running Ice Cream Sandwich on the tablet, the touchscreen display of the Motorola Xoom allows the user to select a type of beer and an amount of beer to pour. However, access to the tablet interface first requires the user to pass a badge over the NFC scanner mounted beneath the tablet screen. Using Google’s App Engine, the badge is authenticated or rejected. If accepted, the user is logged into the KegDroid with their Google+ identification.
On the screen, the user’s Google+ picture appears on the top left corner of the Xoom and the message “Hello ‘User Name’. Please select your beer.” appears on the right side. Beneath the user information, the touchscreen shows two selections of beer with information such as the name, brand, type of brew, alcohol content, description of the flavor and a five star rating system.
There’s also a picture of a branded beer bottle to help users identify the brew by image rather than name. After touching one type of beer, the user selects between 1 ounce, 8 ounces or 12 ounces before tapping pour. In addition, the user can view the temperature of the KegDroid in the bottom right corner of the Xoom tablet.
Behind the access door on the back of the KegDroid, the team uses an Arduino microcontroller to communicate between the Motorola Xoom tablet and the NFC hardware in addition to the solenoid valves and flow sensors that actually control the flow of each beer. While the team hasn’t quite perfected the pour rate as seen in the video below, the application does track of the speed of the pour and the amount of beer that is dispensed during operation.
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