First off, I haven't even touched an arduino yet, or any 'duino' for that matter. I am brand new to almost everything, although not long ago I soldered an IR LED extension together off a remote control... but that's it. I am a very capable, fast learner though- so given a little time I bet I'll be working well with arduino no problem (fingers crossed)
Ok, my first (and possibly most important) question: Which model of arduino would be capable of running 16 separate liquid pumps (the type I am using can be seen here: Amazon.com ), run one stepper motor, accept input from an ipad over a local network (using the Ardumote HD app hopefully), and input from 5 touch sensor switches.
Will that be possible, or am I dreaming too big?
The above setup is for a "barmonkey" style robo-bartender, controlled by ipad, with a platter that moves to pour up to 5 drinks/shots. I don't want to use windshield wiper pumps as many say since they arent food safe they arent wise to use, plus the sweet pumps listed above are cheap and have great reviews.
If there is an Arduino board with more room than that- I would also like to implement one more input and one more output for a completely different purpose (those would be to open and close a theatre screen curtain when the projector sends a signal from it's trigger port, which is a simple 1/8" female audio cable port)
Should I get a mega as my first arduino in order to complete this project, or will that not even be enough? What shields should I consider getting right off the bat? From my initial research tonight, it seems a Arduino Mega should fit the bill for the number of I/O right? I think I will need either an ethernet or wifi shield as well to allow communication between the ipad, via my home network, to the Arduino. This will allow guests to choose the drinks on the iPad, and the arduino will run a "recipe sketch" turning on specific pumps for specific amounts of time. All pumps lead to a funnel suspended over the glass/shot glasses. If the recipe called up is a drink that requires a glass, the arduino just pours it. If it is a shot recipe, the touch switches tell the arduino how many shot glasses are in the tray (they will sit securely in holes in the tray), and the tray moves via stepper motor under the funnel between shots until the proper number is poured.
Is it ok for me to locate almost everything inside a fridge? (provided reception for communication is still ok)
Do I need to worry about the power draw if several pumps fire at once? (I'll be using a wall wart power adapter for the Arduino's power)
and (I know I'm asking a lot here) if there are two MORE outputs available to me, I would like to have a strand of blue LEDs switch to a strand of red ones while the pumps are running, for effect.
Just to recap: I'll need 16 outputs for the little liquid pumps, one for a stepper motor, five for the shot glass switches, hopefully one input and one output for the theatre curtain, and it would be nice to have two more outputs capable of running LED strands for lighting effect. Oh yeah, and I am hoping to use the Ardumote HD app, so I'll need the Ardunio to have the capability to do so either wirelessly, or wired (but it can't be wired to the iPad directly... the iPad is entombed inside a poured acrylic bartop ((kind of, I can still get it out... but it has to be always plugged in because it's a pain to get it out of there))
Steer me in the right direction guys!