Nathan Broadbent, the CTO and Co-Founder of HDWR, also happens to be a web and mobile apps developer. A tech enthusiast, he loves to innovate and make improvisations in every small and big thing around. Not long time back, he performed a similar kind of experiment with microwave. It all started when he came across a special post on Reddit that spoke about the need for QR codes for microwaves. Being a curious guy by nature, he decided to give it a try and blended it with Raspberry Pi. He basically believes in the potential of UPC barcodes, therefore, he bought a barcode scanner and surfed out an online database.
However, modification of microwave was a slightly tricky task and to accomplish the idea of adding QR codes he had to do a lot of re-designing. The manipulation started with the keypad that was again built from the scratch. For making things better, he added some more melodious sounds to the machines and updated the clock from net. Then, voice command had to be instilled in the system since, the machine needed to know when to simmer things up on high for 1 minutes or on medium for 2 minutes and so forth.
Post this, he gave the microwave ability to use the barcode scanner so that it could look up for cooking instructions using an online database. Since, there weren’t many cooking databases for microwaves, he created one: http://microwavecookingdb.com. The best part about creation of this web page is that one can easily control it from one’s phone and modify the cooking instructions as per requirement.
He goes in further details explaining that for this purpose he had to utilize a microwave with touchpad and realized that it had a button matrix. It took him some time to understand the system and see which pins responded to which buttons. It would have been easier if he would have fitted everything on the outer end, however, being a techno-freak he decided to take all setting inside. He made use of optocouplers and shift registers to administer the touchpad pins. The output shift register is mainly used for scanning one line at a time over the first touchpad layers, the input shift registers, on the other hand, takes care for connections to the other layer.
To pursue his goal, Nathan, unsoldered the keypad’s touchpad connector from the circuit board and substituted it with a neat row of pin headers. He then used the initial keypad connector on his PCB in order to create a proxy for button presses. In case, you wish to know more about microwave software, you can always find out the details at https://gethub.com/ndbroadbent/raspbery-picrowave The software mainly comprises of four components: microwave daemon, barcode instructions, voice control, and sinantra app. The first component is primarily used for touchpad button presses and mainly helps in controlling the microwave. It also has an ability to accept TCP connection which means other programs can easily send requests and commands to the microwave. The Barcode Instructions program mainly working for listening to the barcode scanner and takes in all information from the Microwave Cooking Database.
Filed Under: Reviews