I’m not a big fan of coffee. I had this master plan that I would avoid it. Then I couldn’t get addicted to it like adults. You know what they say about the best laid plans… Instead, I started to get caffeine from diet cola and now I drink more of that, which arguable is worse for me.
To make matters worse, I couldn’t escape coffee as my wife loves it and can’t function without it. I usually set it up for her as my little gesture to show her that I love her (“awwww!”)
Well David Frank and Carter Hurd may be making my life a little easier thanks to Amazon’s Alexa, a Raspberry Pi, and an Arduino. Give the video below a watch.
Obviously, it’s not the best coffee machine, but I’ll give it some major style points. I’m not sure if I really need my coffee maker to be Alexa-enabled. First I’d need a machine that has the basics of being able to replace its own filters, pump its own water, and measure an appropriate amount of coffee. (Bonus for being able to clean out the used grounds.)
Once you get a gadget that does all that, it’s just a matter of sending the signal to make the coffee. I don’t think it matters if that signal comes from a timer, a press of a button, or an Alexa command.
However, if we can put together multiple breakfast making machines together, I’d love to create an Alexa macro of, “Make me breakfast” to make it all happen.
I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that you can build something like an Amazon Tap (not always listening) for $60. The bad news is that it appears to be a good amount of work and a high-level of technical expertise to make it happen.
It’s not the prettiest device around:
However, if you are looking for a project where you can learn a lot about computer hardware and Alexa, this may be a good fit.
I found the video below really interesting. It’s very technical, but the idea is that these developers used a Raspberry Pi or similar device to interface with Alexa.
While the developer says that it is cheap Amazon Echo, you actually have to push a button to make it work. You also have to get a microphone for the audio in. And then there’s the speakers for the audio out. So by the time you are done, you really have something like the Amazon Tap, but without the battery.
And of course it is going to look like a mess of cables and circuit boards.
Nonetheless, this is a great proof of concept. If you are looking to learn more about various hardware and software pieces work together with Alexa, this would be a great place to start.