DIY BEERduino – Automatic beer dispenser that limits your alcohol intake
If you have a beer dispenser at home and your friends don’t mind drinking till the last drop is consumed then you are in a fix. There has to be a way to dispense the beer in limited quantity and only to people who are authorized to do so. This DIY project however is going to change that as a Raspberry Pi microcontroller system regulates the amount of beer dispensed from a home kegerator system. The project dubbed as BEERduino is designed by Karl Gerhardt and Samantha Paulsen from Rice University to record the number of requests to pour beer and control the individuals who can use the kegerator.
The BEERduino is under the control of one administrator who approves the user’s list and allows them to pour beer in normal, party or barkeep mode. To register the user, the license card has to be swiped in the magnetic reader and after that they can use the kegerator. Once the user swipes the driver’s license the Raspberry Pi sets into action by activating a solenoid valve to allow the beer to flow. On a display the amount of predicted blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and BAC after beer consumption is also shown.
To make sure that the beer is not being consumed by a minor, the kegerator identifies all the information on the license card and only then approves a pint of beer to be poured. The administrator can also blacklist a user and the beer won’t be poured to that user. All this brainwork is done by the Arduino controller which is the heart of this automatic beer dispenser.
The project is quite intuitive and can be followed by avid DIYers at home as the makers have provided all the files for the communication between Raspberry Pi and Arduino.