What does it do?

The Beverage (and More) Dispenser is a device which can dispense precisely measured amounts of temperature controlled food and drinks, allowing the user to make drinks, smoothies, and snacks by simply pushing a button.

Why make it?

How awesome would it be to have this at home, making your breakfast as your alarm goes off? How awesome would this be to have at a party, mixing drinks for your guests? How awesome would this be for preparing a drink for you before you get home from work?

We want one. We think a lot of people would want one. It's a commercially viable, fiscally reasonable, and totally sweet project. What more could you want?

Visit the blog for a play-by-play update on how the project is going!

View our Assurance Test Plan (pdf)




  • Ability to mix food items
    • Solids (ice, cereal)
    • Liquids (milk, water, juice)
    • Powders (sugar, coffee powder, cocoa)
  • Containers to hold food items
    • One (temperature controlled) for ice, two for solids/powders
    • Three for liquids (one temperature controlled)
  • Scale to determine and control amount of consumables dispensed
  • Blender for combining and blending consumables
  • Fast and accurate dispensing of consumables via solenoids and motors


  • Clean packaging for whole system
  • Aesthetic rigging for consumable containers
  • Electronics (Raspberry Pi, wiring, etc) hidden from view



  • Web App
    • Can set up combinations of consumables (by weight) to create menu of items
    • Can control temperature of containers
    • Will alert if consumable runs out
    • Once set up, menu can be accessed to easily dispense food and drinks
  • Barcode scanner
    • Allows user to easily identify products in the machine
    • When a consumable is added to a container, user can scan barcode so the app knows what is in that container
    • Integrates with web app


  • Web app must have clean, easy to use UI
  • App should be viewable from any phone/tablet via a browser (iOS, Android, Win Mobile) or a native app (Android)


Click components below to learn more about them [COMING SOON].


  • Raspberry Pi
  • Thermo-Electric Coolers (TEC)
  • Solid Dispenser Motors
  • Scale
  • Blender and Blender Cups
  • Temperature Controlled Solid/Liquid Containers


  • Web App
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Solenoid and Motor Controllers


  • Serial I/O for Scale/Pi
  • Wifi for Web App/Pi
  • Serial I/O for Motors/Solenoids




Temperature control doesn't work

Remove initial plan to use arbitrary temperature control, and go with 1 hot and 1 cold chamber, (2) try 1 hot OR 1 cold chamber, or (3) look for alternative methods of temperature control (like heating coils)

Powering all of the devices: motors, solenoid valves, and TEC have specific power needs

We are planning to use batteries for the motors and solenoid valves, and a portable current supply for the TEC. If this is insufficient, we may use a desktop computer PSU, which can provide more current.

Low experience with a few of our components (Raspberry Pi, solenoids, and other mechanical elements)

We have a few external resources who we can consult if need be, and we're confident we have the abilities and resources at our disposal to accomplish our goals.

Scale automatically goes into power-saving mode after 30 seconds of stable weight

*Solved* We were able to find hardware setting that keeps scale from shutting off

Blender is difficult to close by hand, even more difficult by automation due to the tight seal the lid generates

(1) If possible, add robotic arm with custom lid (most likely a rubber seal). (2) Have users manually close lid and blend if they desire.

Difficulty of demoing a variety of consumables - cleaning on the fly will be a challenge

We can buy more blender cups so we won't have to keep cleaning a few over and over. Also, we can stick to one set of consumables for the demo day so we don't have to clean the containers partway through the demo.

Everything works perfectly

That's not even a risk

Who are we?


Lance Christian

  • Major: ECE
  • Year: Senior
  • Focus: Hardware
  • Favorite Indian on Team 16: Arjuna

Mike Gardner

  • Major: ECE
  • Year: Senior
  • Focus: Hardware
  • Favorite Quiznos Sub: Baja Chicken

Arjuna Hayes

  • Major: ECE
  • Year: Senior
  • Focus: Software
  • Favorite Paper Mario Game: The Thousand Year Door

Lawrence Tsang

  • Major: ECE
  • Year: Junior
  • Focus: Software
  • Favorite 18-549 Team: Team 16