The end product
The whole thing prior to packing the Pi, control board, and power supply into the housing box.
The motor setup built by Lumbini to pull the plunger down
The inside of the toaster.
The custom control board built by Denver. It includes breakouts for all modes on the toaster and the H-Bridge motor controller circuit.
Everything roughly put together.
The Raspberry Pi setup during debugging. The HDMI and USB devices were removed in the end product.
Univac, Apollo 11, Memes, Hydrogen Fusion, and more. This project started as a joke, but we ended up putting a good bit of effort into it in the end.
What it does
The project connects an Alexa Dot to a Raspberry Pi enabled toaster to remotely engage a toaster and make toast. Users can say "Alexa, tell my toaster to make my toast light/medium/dark in fifteen minutes" and she will respond to the request. The toaster will engage and in a couple minutes, the user will have delicious toast.
How I built it
We built it with an Amazon Dot, Raspberry Pi, toaster, DC motor, custom made circuits, and a good bit of programming in Python and Bash.
Challenges I ran into
Alexa is still in early stages and has a lot of limitations. We had some mechanical challenges regarding engaging the solenoid in the toaster and being able to fit the DC motor inside of the chassis. Insulation also posed a problem. Reverse engineering the control board inside of the toaster was interesting to say the least. We had a lot of trouble with the mechanism to pull down the plunger.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
It actually works. We made a hackathon project that actually works.
What I learned
We learned a ton about AWS, Alexa development, H-Bridge circuits, motors, mechanical design, and the importance of a well rounded team.
What's next for ToasterIO
Probably nothing. But maybe we'll form a startup and start finding Series A funding. Hit us up. We might start controlling toilets next.