Our project, Usnavi, was designed to be the ultimate coffee maker. Not only is it smart enough to brew coffee at the perfect temperature and time, it knows how to adjust the amount of water to change acidity: or the caffeine.
What it does
On the frontend, Usnavi is just a simple coffee maker, made to look different through automation. Its designed after the simple scheme of the drip coffee maker, however it is smart enough to change many factors about coffee that most coffee makers cannot. With Usnavi, we have the ultimate control over things like temperature and acidity-leading to the ultimate coffee experience.
One the backend, Usnavi learns more about the user the more they use it. It consumes numerous api's to measure important data about the user: such as how many Facebook notifications they have, or if they're current stocks suffered a loss. By utilizing this data, Usnavi can brew a cup of coffee with the perfect amount of caffeine in it to survive a days work.
How We built it
Usnavi is built using common parts from around the house: an electric kettle, rulers, and plywood. However, the technology that fuels it is high end. The inner technology uses numerous high-level api's from around the tech world to build a profile all about caffeine. Mechanically, Usnavi uses an Arduino to control the servos controlling the different brew cups. Although it may not look pretty, Usnavi functions very well.
Challenges We ran into
Working to make such a specialized product can be frustrating. There are many things that can go wrong, especially when working on a hardware hack. One such example is coming up with mechanical a valve system. This was by far our hardest challenge, and led us to think very hard about coming up with solutions.
What I learned
This project was a new frontier for everyone on the team. Such a hack has never really been done before, so we all had to pitch in to make it work. After facing many different challenges that couldn't really have been predicted, we strived to achieve excellence and finish our project. In the end, we all learned more than we thought we would.
What's next for Usnavi
Usnavi has a lot in its future. It currently utilizes 9 api's, but there could be hundreds more incorporated for a final project. Another improvement for Usnavi is its mechanical movements. Our iteration of this product is somewhat outdated by many new electronic valve systems, but unfortunately we were unable to acquire any of these.