FPT University students create smartphone-controlled barista

Impressed by the effectiveness of Barista, a drink dispenser created by a group of FPT University students, Do Cong Hung, a lecturer in software technology, said he wanted to buy the smart ‘bartender’ at the thesis defending ceremony.

“I will buy the product,” Hung said after enjoying a cocktail prepared by Barista developed by Nguyen Thai Duong, Nghe Le Thu Hien, Cao Hoang Anh and Phung Tien Dat.

The Barista was inspired by the students’ hobby of enjoying good drinks. A cocktail prepared by a professional bartender is expensive for students but it is cheaper and more interesting to prepare cocktails themselves.

The authors of Barista at the thesis defending ceremony.

Batista has two major parts, including hardware, or a mixer, and software run on Android smartphones. The two systems connect via Bluetooth, allowing users to make orders for the drinks they want or drinks to be prepared accordingly to existing formulas.

Hardware is an important part of the kit. Made from mica and clear plastic, it looks friendly and approachable.

According to Hoang Anh, the students used five main types of components to make the hardware: microcontrollers, six mini pumps with a speed of 1.5 to 2 liters per minute which connect with six material storage tanks, 8-channel relays module, a bluetooth module and power adapter.

Users can regulate the hardware via an app run on an Android operating system.

“You can order cocktails to be prepared with formulas in the app, or create specific drinks for yourself by mixing materials at different proportions,” Thai Duong said.

“Via a microprocessor, the requests from users will be sent to the hardware. If the hardware cannot satisfy requirements, the machine will send messages to users,” Duong explained.

Android app’s interface of Barista has a simple design which saves power and memory when using smartphones. The screen has six buttons for users to regulate six material pumps as they want.

Users can regulate the hardware via an app run on an Android operating system.

The percentage of materials to be decided by users will create different drinks. If users order clean water, the machine will turn into a pump to clean itself.

The app also can keep watch over the volume of materials in storage tanks and send an alarm to users if the materials are about to run out.

It takes a professional bartender three minutes to prepare a cocktail of alcoholic drinks and fizzy drinks. Barista spends less than 10 seconds.

However, the machine still has some weak points. It can mix all kinds of materials to create drinks, but it cannot create ‘works of arts’ with colored layers as bartenders can.

The students said they may consider changing the pump speed and re-install the feed pipe to improve the machine’s features.

Source: ICT News & Vietnamnet