This looks brilliant, a team of self-described "lazy hackers" has come up an automated beer dispensing system named RoboKeg, a Raspberry Pi powered, NFC (Near Field Communications) triggered beer tap. A long beer line at a crowded concert or bar is not an issue anymore, with a Robokeg, sort of vending machine, all you need to do is let RoboKeg scans the chip in your wristband.
How does it work? Just like many bars and clubs where wristbands are used to keep track of who's able to purchase alcohol, a tiny NFC chip is inserted in such a wristband, which can automate the purchasing and pouring. RoboKeg scans the chip then RoboKeg dispenses the "perfect pour". Billing is sent through the wristband chip to your mobile phone and you can just pay for it later, so there is no need even to carry a phone around.
RoboKeg also features a "beer suggestion" function: it can recommend beers to you based on the season and weather - on a cool day "it is a great time for a Pale Ale" says the app. In addition the team says they have also developed a feature that every time when you purchase a beer RoboKeg will send a tweet telling what you ordered.
The startup showed off the Robokeg prototype at the New York Tech Meetup (NYTM) event on Tuesday, demonstrating this hand-free beer service to Lee Bell of the Inquirer:
Robokeg uses a Raspberry Pi as the brain of the machine, which speaks to an NFC enabled device via a WiFi module. The device posts to webserver running on the Raspberry Pi and speaks to the beer keg via the Raspberry Pi pinout, which drives a small servo motor on top of the keg. The gear that activates the beer tap is 3D printed by a Makerbot 3D printer.
The team, including Chris Jeane, David Kay, Ed Paulosky and Peter Verrillo, says they are talking to some NYC bars to implement Robokegs, and hopefully soon you can find it at your local club or bars.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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