Hacking, Physical Computing

Bot Pocket

Role: Built the mechanics, designed & 3d printed custom parts, designed and built relay and solenoid circuits for a rush pitch over a 3-4 day period.

We built a twitter-enabled microwave to let you Tweet-to-Heat a Hot Pocket. While the campaign never launched, we had a lot of fun building the rush job for a friend’s ad agency.

Mark Kleeb, my studio mate at Floating Point developed the python-code to interface a Raspberry Pi with twitter as well as circuit bending the keypad on the microwave.

In the meantime, I disassembled the door and replaced the latch with a mechanism that would be easier to defeat with a hard strike from a spring loaded rod.

The rod was a souped-up version of those pinball machine ball launching plungers. The rod was a piece of hardware made for screen doors that I used an angle grinder to cut down. The back end was fed into the magnet end of a solenoid powered by a triac (a/c relay). When the raspi knew the Hot Pocket was done heating, the relay would flip, disengaging the magnet, letting the spring-loaded rod collide into the inside of the door, defeating the now-weaker latch for instant bravado smart microwave action. Hopefully not too much radiation happening.

If you look carefully, you can see the stainless steel rod protruding out of the microwave after the door swings open.

speak up

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