Our team was inspired by the internet of things revolution and the concept of creating smart devices that improve small aspects of daily life. We also wanted to design a simple, connected device that provides real value to end users. We thought the kitchen had many areas for improvement that could benefit from connected devices. We wanted to create something totally different and fun.
What it does
Scipio listens to the cook's voice for hands free operation. The user simply tells Scipio the type and quantity of spices it needs for a recipe and Scipio will measure and dispense the correct amount of spices every time. With the most recent revision, we made it able to maintain a continuous, unrestricted spin which allows the product to work faster and more efficiently.
How we built it
We used the Amazon Echo and it's voice control capabilities to run the interaction modeling and process the voice inputs. We then send an HTTP POST request to the Particle Photon. This method enables the two devices to interact wirelessly. The user can simply place their Amazon Echo in the custom fit enclosure and cook away.The second revision, we laser cut both the circular frames and gears to propel the spice rack around much more precisely than our old design.
Challenges we ran into
Additionally, the number of 3d printed parts the dispensers required slowed down the production considerably and we ended up scaling down the number of dispensers.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of how robust the mechanical design is. We feel that the design of the rotating auger wheels were a good innovation and are a viable option for deploying in a final design. We are also very proud that we were able to learn a lot about using Amazon Echo / Alexa and creating interaction models for speech recognition and processing. We added the ability to ask for multiple spice requests in a single go, increasing the speed at which Spicio can aid you and your cooking needs.
What we learned
Speech recognition can be more than just gimmicky technology. It can provide real value, especially when applied in unexpected areas.
What's next for Spicio
We plan to implement the Food2Fork API to allow the user to ask for recipe suggestions. We would also like to implement more kitchen functionality including cooking tips and tricks as well as suggestions on spice combinations. Further down the road, we think it would be cool to integrate ingredient ordering through BlueApron or Amazon Fresh.