It can’t spin bottles like Tom Cruise, but this kegerator pours premixed cocktails

How to make an Old Fashioned
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.

open bar photo

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.

open bar construction

“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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.

Best deals on home security cameras to save you from package thieves

Home security camera systems can help keep your home and your family safe. Amazon's deals on Blink security cameras and Ring Video Doorbells also help you save money on devices you can access regardless of your current location.
Smart Home

Google Store sale is on now through December 24!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 may be history, but fans of Google hardware including the popular Google Home Hub, Pixel 3 and 3XL mobile phones still have lots of deals in store -- the Google Store, that is.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

Porch pirate problems? Keep them away with these tips and tricks

The holiday season is fast approaching and the packages are arriving on our doorsteps. Are you worried about porch pirates stealing your gifts this holiday season? Here are some tips to help protect your purchases.

Walmart is offering Google Home starter kits for under $50

If you're hoping to save big on Google Home devices before all the holiday deals come to an end, there's no better time than right now. Walmart is slashing prices on smart home starter kits for a limited time.

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Clean up with robot vac, upright vacuum, and spot and stain remover deals

Whether you're gift shopping or need to get your house ready for the holidays, deals on household cleaning appliances are always welcome. We found Walmart's best deals on robot vacs, upright vacuum cleaners, and spot and stain cleaners.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa enhancements add geolocation, kids’ Routines, and more

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa continues to evolve and its newest features should appeal to busy people and parents on the go, including location-based routines and reminders as well as Routines aimed toward kids.
Smart Home

How to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant

Nothing say "holiday" like talking to Santa. Here's how to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant, whether he's helping you create a playlist or checking to see if you've been naughty or nice this week.