Many adults in society drink milk tea with tapioca balls in a drink called Boba. On average each drink costs around $5-$6, where students spend nearly $50 a month on boba. Share Boba is a boba dispensing machine designed to reduce the overall cost of producing and delivering boba to customers. The majority of the cost for boba is producing the tea and the manual labor required to make the drinks. Our hardware project, developed at TAMUmake 2020, alleviates the cost of employees and time to produce the boba through automation. In our implementation, we utilize a conveyer belt form factor in conjunction with multi-staged dispensers of liquid to deliver a combination of tea and milk to drastically reduce the overall cost of producing boba. Share Boba optimizes the overall availability in space and variety of ingredients in boba to provide a modern distribution of drinks. In the United States, Boba is a $2 billion market, and with Share Boba we can drastically reduce the overall cost of producing boba which we transfer the savings over to the customer. Share Boba will disrupt the entire boba market.
What it does
Them main purpose of the device it to automate the process of making boba tea drink from base solutions. The system is designed to dispense the different type of boba tea base on the selected input of the user. We perform input out from the user using Serial R terminal application on an android mobile device. The provides the user with different option for drink while maintaining autonomous beauty.
How I built it
The base of the structure consisted of a cardboard box, on top of which were water bottles used to dispense liquid as well as electronic equipment. The electronic equipment of the system consisted of a Arduino board which were connected to Servos motors. The Servos motors controlled the flow of liquid out of the bottles. A "cart" consisting of a DC motor and a plastic stabilizing piece were used to transport cups to travel for dispensing liquid.
Challenges I ran into
The major challenge that I ran into was the construction of the conveyor belt. The original design of the system includes a conveyor belt that would carry the cup across the difference dispensing stations. Halfway through the construction process, I realize that the conveyor belt required a great deal of torque, which was significantly more than the torque provided by any motor available to us. To remedy this problem, I created a moving platform that used a single dc motor. The moving surface performed the same task as the conveyor belt.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am very proud that my team and I did not give up on the project and stayed through everything. It was about 1 o clock in the morning when I realize that the conveyer belt had led me to a dead end. I was very close to giving up and going home, but I kept thinking of different ways to solve the problem. Ultimately I got inspired by another team that was also struggling and was determined to build something worth presenting. I got motivated by there grit and stay till the competition ended. In the end, I did find a solution to the problem and I was able to create a working system. I am very glad that I will not have any regret regarding the fact that I did not give my best.
What I learned
We learned how use arduino with sensors to automate basic manual task that would otherwise be economically and environmentally costly. I also learned how distribute different task to different individuals in-order to make the problem more feasible and time efficient. In the project, I used a MOSFET to control a DC motor, which was powered by 6V external power supply.
What's next for Share Boba
Increase the number of options available to our customers and replacing the custom made valves with proper industry valves. Another major position room for improvement is the implementation of an effective boba bubble dispenser to the system. Currently, the system can only dispense fluids and requires the initial cup to contain the boba, but the goal is to automate all processes of the boba making including boba dispensing.