Smart kitchen drawers

Hey guys,

so I am VERY new at this, just bought my first Arduino Uno since I'm taking a distance course.

I've tried some basic things like LED's, buzzer, potentiometer etc.

I recently got this idea that I'll explain with a scenario:

You have your friends and family over and they are using your kitchen for some reason, making food for their kids or something. They have no idea where you keep your cutlery, dishes, kitchen utensils.... annyoing!

So they say: "google where are the spoons" and the drawer with the spoons in it pops out. Easy peazy!

I don't really know how to approach this project and want your help and feedback!

I'm thinking that every drawer that you want to be "smart" needs some sort of servomotor that pushes the drawer out, a wifi-module and a power supply?

Am I missing anything? Does every drawer need an Arduino?

Best regards from Sweden

Robin H

I think it would be sufficient if the "pusher" just moves the drawer out a short distance so it is visibly open. Then it can immediately retract so it won't get broken when someone closes the drawer.

I suspect some hobby servos would be strong enough to move a drawer - but you my need to experiment to find the size that is suitable.

Assuming the drawers are reasonably close together the servos could all be controlled by a single Arduino. I don't know if an ESP8266 board such as the WemosD1 can operate several servos, or what is the upper limit. The ESP8266 combines WiFi with a powerful microprocessor. If it does not have enough I/O pins you could pair it with one or more Arduinos.

I have no idea how you would interface a WiFi board like an ESP8266 to an internet voice control system - but I'm sure it has been done lots of times.

...R

Robin2 has the right idea of popping them open a bit.

a solenoid could 'push' a drawer out an inch or so. and, it would automatically retract

the problem is in coding your drawer contents to a pin address.

also, the voice recognition would be something I think you would want to have one of the platforms like alexis.

I'm in my 50s. And can only remember your scenario ever happening once. But I think if I had to do something like this, I would probably simplify it by using an LED at each drawer. An LED is much more simple to implement. Will last a long time. And is much less problematic than servos.

The next issue would be powering whatever method you choose. It's rare to have electricity ran to every cabinet and set of drawers. Sometimes cabinets will have lighting mounted under them. But you're going to have to become an electrician, or hire one, to get power to the drawers.

Then there is the WiFi and voice commands. It has been done, as Robin2 pointed out. But it won't be a walk in the park.

Not trying to discourage you. Just pointing out that it's a lot of work to accomplish your goal.

DangerToMyself:
But I think if I had to do something like this, I would probably simplify it by using an LED at each drawer.

Good idea but it could be even simpler with a mimic diagram on the wall to represent the positions of the drawers. Then the user can see on the diagram which drawer is the correct one.

Which also brings to mind the idea of using a tablet or laptop to display the mimic diagram - then no need for an Arduino. Maybe the whole project could be within the laptop if it could run some voice recognition software.

Why it could even shout at the user "I told you yesterday it's in the bottom drawer, Dummy"

...R

DangerToMyself:
But you're going to have to become an electrician, or hire one, to get power to the drawers.

Since when do you have to be an electrician for a few low current low voltage wires?

wvmarle:
Since when do you have to be an electrician for a few low current low voltage wires?

You don't really.

I have a nice kitchen with almost every outlet above the cabinets. And I wouldn't want a wall-wart plugged into one of those outlets all the time. Or have to look at and clean around the wires. Nor would I want to drill a hole into the side of my fairly expensive cabinets. Maybe the OP (and a lot of other folks) would want a clean install as well. I do have one near the cabinets that is lower. But it's behind the refrigerator. And I wouldn't want to have to move it out of the way every time something didn't work right with the Arduino setup.

That's where the electrician comes in. But if a clean install isn't a requirement, an electrician isn't needed at all. Grab a drill and have at it.