Why waste time making food, when you can just get something else to cook for you? Sandwich-o-matic originated from an idea of a toaster that butters your toast for you. We explored the idea, and took it a step further by building a voice controlled sandwich maker.

What it does

Sandwich-o-matic is a fully automated, voice controlled sandwich making machine. Simply tap the "begin recording" button on the site, and tell the machine your order (for example, "please make me a sandwich with pepper and sausage"). The machine will construct the sandwich from scratch, right before your eyes!!

How we built it

Sandwich-o-matic was an ambitious idea for a thirty-six hour hackathon. We spent a lot of time planning the design for functionality (e.g. the spinning disks under each topping chamber), and even more time building the parts. We used Servos for all of the moving parts except for the DC motor that pulls the toaster sideways, all of which are controlled by the combination of a Photon and an Arduino. The back-end is node, hosted on AWS. We used the Google Cloud Platform for voice to text features.

Challenges we ran into

Every step forward brought us to a new challenge of all sorts. From having to rethink our dispensing design to having to deal with I2C, we had to face a lot of new challenges. What really helped us to get through these challenges was working together as a team to brainstorm solutions, and asking our teammates/other hackers for help.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Oh man, where do we start?! First off, the thing actually works. Like, it actually makes sandwiches if you have ingredients in the topping compartments. Secondly, we managed to get things done ahead of what we thought we could. Ultimately, we're proud of how well we worked together as a team and how much fun we had while making the Sandwich-o-matic.

What we learned

Hardware is annoying but rewarding, Photon is extremely overpowered, APIs are hard (looking at you, Google), and how to cut lots and lots of sheet metal.

What's next for Sandwich-o-matic

More sandwiches! We would love to incorporate more features into the Sandwich-o-matic. We think that having more topping options and more condiments would allow users to really enjoy being able to make sandwiches without having to do more than ask for one. We will definitely try to continue building on this idea in the future.

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One fun fact – if you look closely, you can see that the toaster is epoxied to a door hinge. The door hinge is in turn hand-screwed to a piece of Ikea shelf.

You might also enjoy the voice recognition demo: And maybe even star us on GitHub! ;)

Finally, the sad epilogue: due to space constraints on the bus, we had to leave Sandwich-O-Matic behind at Trent, after salvaging away the components. But it shall live on forever in our hearts, souls, and stomachs.

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