This totally sweet project is brought to us by a maker known as Equals Engineering. Instead of just placing sugar in his cup, he opted to create a Raspberry Pi-powered sugar serving robot to do the job for him. However, this robot doesn’t place the cube in a cup but rather launches it with a servo motor-operated spring mechanism.
According to Equals Engineering, it’s built on top of a Raspberry Pi 4 that uses a camera to identify and target the cups. In addition to sweetening your morning tea, it’s also programmed to do a victory dance after successful launches.
The Pi 4 and camera are mounted inside a custom case with 3D-printed components inside for mounting hardware. A distance sensor is included to help determine how far away the cup is from the robot. DC motors are used to control a pair of wheels that position the robot into place for launching. To get the cubes airborne, it relies on a custom launching mechanism consisting of a spring and servo motor.
We reached out to Equals Engineering for more details about the AI used in the cup identification process. He confirmed that OpenCV is used to find the largest red object, in this case, the cup used for launching cubes into, and draws a bounding box around it. This data is used to set a destination target for the wheels by triggering a signal via GPIO on the Pi to a relay connected to the wheel motors.
To get a closer look at the project in action, check out the official Equals Engineering YouTube channel and be sure to follow him for more cool creations.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.