Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cookie perfection machine - butter dispenser

I am building a machine that will dispense and mix ingredients to make a single cookie. The benefit is that each cookie on the sheet can have its own recipe, and the baker can sample all of the cookies to better understand how ingredient variations will affect taste and texture. In this video, I talk about the butter dispenser.

The folks at Meta Mate gave me the idea for customer-rating via QR code.

Hacking a milligram balance (scale) with a Parallax Propeller microcontroller

For an upcoming project, I'd like to develop a dispensing system that can measure out a desired mass of material. The idea would be to use a microcontroller, dispensing valve, and electronic balance to provide feedback. I already have an American Weigh Scales miniPro-100, and decided to hack it so that my microcontroller can discover how much mass is on the balance. It can then regulate the dispensing valve appropriately.

The balance contains a Cirrus CS5530 24-bit ADC. I tapped the clock and data lines and found bursts of data that occurred at 7.5Hz. The clock is about 150KHz. I used a Parallax Propeller running assembly in one of its cores to capture the data stream and load it into my main program.