Some time ago my flatmate built a lazydrinker automatic bar (lazydrinker.com). Basically it is an array of microcontroller activated solenoids which allow compressed air into bottles, forcing liquid out to a nozzle. While this is a pretty cool system it has some issues:
- It's expensive ($90 board only)
- It's closed source
- The software is unfinished and poor
- It's not extensible
So I decided to make my own. The concept is for an open-source harware and software combination with community involvement. Hardware is an arduino-based basic 16 solenoid driver. Components are an ATMega 168 with arduino bootloader, ftdi style serial header, two 74*4051 multiplexers and two ULN2803 darlington arrays to sink the solenoid current. The DB25 is pin compatible with the lazydrinker system. 595 shift registers would probably be better, but I didn't have any and I'm not sure that the darlingtons could sink enough current to allow more than one solenoid to be open. A proto-board test article has been made, and I've designed a prototype PCB for fabing, but it probably wont get made until next year (moving agian). Software is currently a processing sketch for test purposes, may move to Java for a better UI but maintaining cross platform capabilities.
A website will be set up in due course. This will have code, circuit diags etc.