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Old Nokia phone and Raspberry Pi chat to make perfect cup of tea

Old Nokia phone and Raspberry ...
The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker was inspired by the crazy contraptions of Heath Robinson, and the auto dog feeding machine from Back to the Future
The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker was inspired by the crazy contraptions of Heath Robinson, and the auto dog feeding machine from Back to the Future
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The r2-Tea2 automatic tea maker was constructed using easy to find components and able to text chat with an old Nokia phone
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The r2-Tea2 automatic tea maker was constructed using easy to find components and able to text chat with an old Nokia phone
The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker asks Martin how he's feeling and works out what kind of brew he wants via a series of sent and received SMS text messages
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The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker asks Martin how he's feeling and works out what kind of brew he wants via a series of sent and received SMS text messages
The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker was inspired by the crazy contraptions of Heath Robinson, and the auto dog feeding machine from Back to the Future
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The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker was inspired by the crazy contraptions of Heath Robinson, and the auto dog feeding machine from Back to the Future
Exactly how the tea is made by R2-Tea2 is determined by responses to SMS text messages sent to a TV presenter's Nokia mobile phone
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Exactly how the tea is made by R2-Tea2 is determined by responses to SMS text messages sent to a TV presenter's Nokia mobile phone
A cup is chosen and sent along a conveyor belt where a robotic arm picks up a teabag and plonks it in the cup, then boiling water is pumped from a boiling kettle into the cup to brew
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A cup is chosen and sent along a conveyor belt where a robotic arm picks up a teabag and plonks it in the cup, then boiling water is pumped from a boiling kettle into the cup to brew
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Huddersfield's interactive product developer Running in the Halls was recently tasked with building a unique tea-making machine sporting basic AI for a UK television show. After a bit of to and fro text messaging between the tea maker and the TV presenter via his old school Nokia phone, the machine would brew up a cuppa based on the question and answer exchange.

The design brief called for a tea maker that could communicate with the show's host, Guy Martin, use components that could be easily sourced by computer enthusiasts, and be a kind of modern take on the crazy over-the-top contraptions from the mind of Heath Robinson.

The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker asks Martin how he's feeling and works out what kind of brew he wants via a series of sent and received SMS text messages – the machine has its own phone number. If the show's host is feeling tired, for example, the machine brews a strong tea, and if he's working in his garage, a cup able to withstand a few knocks would be selected.

The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker asks Martin how he's feeling and works out what kind of brew he wants via a series of sent and received SMS text messages
The R2-Tea2 automatic tea maker asks Martin how he's feeling and works out what kind of brew he wants via a series of sent and received SMS text messages

Running in the Halls scripted a Python application running on a Raspberry Pi mini-computer to control the operation of R2-Tea2, and another app caters for interfacing with custom-built chatbot scripts.

R2-Tea2 can select from different cups via a gravity-driven system, with the chosen cup then moved along a conveyor belt constructed using a stepper motor, shelving brackets, nuts, bolts and plastic pipes. A robotic arm picks up a tea bag and holds it in the cup while a physical switch controlled by a servo powers on a kettle. Once boiled, the water is pumped out of the kettle and into the cup and, if selected during the SMS Q&A, milk added.

Guy Martin vs the Robot Car, featuring the tea-making segment, was aired on the UK's Channel 4 on November 26.

Source: Running in the Halls

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