The Tea Engine

My entry for BarBot 2013, the Tea Engine is a robotically controlled tea service made from an antique coffee percolator set from the mid-1920s.  Those wishing tea simply need to dial the number on the rotary dial that corresponds to how they take their tea (2 for tea, 4 for tea with milk, 6 for tea with sugar, and 8 for tea with milk and sugar).  An Arduino microcontroller reads the number of pulses from the dial and opens for a set number of seconds to dispense the proper amount of tea, milk, and sugar.

The Tea Engine has been featured on - photos - video - and in the Oakland Tribune.

Fire Fairy costume

“Born from the ashes, the Phoenix rises...”

This ensemble features a gold organza petticoat with animated EL flame effects, a matching blouse with flame-like fabric sleeves, EL flame tiara, and fabric dread falls.  Modeled by Alexiis.

The Cocktail Corsage - a flirt-powered cocktail robot

My first entry in the annual BarBot festival of cocktail robotics (2012 edition) was a rather unobtrusive wearable drinkbot called the Cocktail Corsage.  In order to be served a drink, the thirsty person has to flirt with the wearer of the drinkbot and get her excited.

A solenoid valve at my elbow controls the flow of bourbon from a reservoir on my upper arm, and tubing brings the liquid down to a faux flower wrist corsage where it dispenses from the center.  The "brains" of the operation is an Arduino microcontroller in my pocket which is wired to a temperature-sensitive sensor called a thermistor that is clipped to an ... um ... sensitive part of my anatomy.  Once my temperature gets above a certain point (an indication of physical arousal), an LED light in the flower lights up for 10 seconds to indicate that the drink is about to pour, then the corsage dispenses a shot of bourbon to the lucky recipient.

The Cocktail Corsage was my first step along the path towards creating the Cocktail Dress, which will incorporate numerous biofeedback sensors programmed to measure flirtatiousness and arousal.  As the sensors are triggered, the dress's embedded LED lights will twinkle in progressively more active patterns until the thirsty flirter is served his or her drink.