The Leaky Tree is a high-quality device designed to dispense ice and one of four mixed drinks that can be selected by the user. This device was created to quickly mix complex drinks with great precision as well as entertain the user in the process.
The Leaky Tree
The Leaky Tree will conveniently pour an equivalent cold mixed drink for you with just a push of a button. It uses an Arduino mega and a PIC16F88. The Arduino Mega has nearly all of its DIO pins used and is the main brain for the entire project. The PIC communicates with the Arduino via a binary signal and controls the LCD Screen. RGB LEDs in the upper portion, ice container, and coaster light up in many colors and patterns to convey information and create a fun light show for the user.
The multicolor LCD screen on the electronics panel turns on and automatically scrolls to the first drink selection. The green buttons on either side of the screen allow the user to scroll through four different drink options. Below the drink name is a list of the included flavors. At any time, the blue ice button can be held down and ice will dispense continuously for as long as the button is held. To select the drink, the user presses the white dispense button. Then the ultrasonic sensor will check for a cup on the coaster. While dispensing, the slide and coaster will turn green.
An RC servo is used with a linkage to drive the auger that dispenses ice.
FDA-approved solenoid valves are activated via transistors in a predetermined sequence and timing. These solenoids are normally closed and when activated dispense liquid at a predictable rate. When finished dispensing, the screen will display a finished message and the coaster performs a fast alternating pattern. To return to the start screen, the user can remove the cup and place another one on the coaster or press the ice button. An analog temperature sensor in the ice container is connected to the Arduino. A single RBG LED is located in the ice dispenser that will change from blue to red when the temperature gets too warm inside the ice cooler. The caps fit any standard two-liter bottle. The air tank in the back can be filled to between 80 psi and 100 psi by the user and the regulator brings the pressure down to six or seven for the bottles.
Has anyone here been featured on Gadget Freak? If so, did you receive the promised $500? My design was posted in late October, 2014. No money has been sent to me and Design News no longer replies to my email.
@johngoodman, I submitted Gadget Freak #217 and #240. Yes, I received the promised $500. It seems like they pay on the first week of the month after your project is published. I have a friend who also sumitted several GF projects and he has no complaints. Be sure to return the 1099 form to Design News as the award is potentially taxable. And, of course, you only get paid if your project was actually published.
If your project did not get published by DN, consider posting it on GitHub or LinkedIn.
Disclosure: I am not an employee of Design News. I'm just an avid reader. Be patient with people as they sometimes get ill or go on vacation or have emergencies.
Thanks for the expalnation @78RPM. I filled out a 1099 when my entry #267 was first submitted (and published) last year at the end of October. I don't mind being patient but I'd feel a whole lot better if Design News would at least reply to my email.
Eleven years ago one of those rare, brilliant moments emerged from the crack staff of Design News: Let’s put the tinkerers among our audience community to work in designing and building some truly wacky devices. And Gadget Freak was born.
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