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Kiandra coffee machine migrates to the cloud

After-hours in the Kiandra staff cafe, our hard-working coffee machine typically sits cleaned, refreshed, and waiting for the early-risers of the next morning to arrive and brew themselves a morning kickstart.

But not last night.

Last night the delicious aroma of our preferred Axil blend that surrounds our beloved coffee machine was replaced with the smell of solder and WD-40, amongst some enthusiastic chit-chat on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Why? Well, last night we integrated our Mazzer grinder with the cloud.

Led by our Software Delivery Manager Tony and our UX Lead Tait, the project was intended to provide a real-world example of the innovation that is possible thanks to the IoT, and how we can fuse hardware and software in different ways to do things that weren’t possible before. Need we mention that it was also a load of fun, and a massive intersection of two of our favourite things…coffee and gadgets.

The guys used a Raspberry Pi with some custom-built electronics and Node.js software integrated with Firebase to piece together the solution. At the moment, the system captures when the grinder is used and whether a single or double shot was made. We can use this data in several ways, such as knowing if the coffee machine is likely to be busy right now (without leaving our desks thanks to Tait’s web-based UI), and the correlation between tickets closed and coffees poured every hour!

The system design was built with the future in mind, allowing any other ideas that we may have to be implemented without requiring any re-engineering of the hardware – so watch this space for further integrations.

 

1 The ‘brains’ of our grinder and Tony’s project documentation

2Tony and Tait get things underway

3Tony installs the sensor system

4It’s alive (and already sending us notifications on Slack!)

5That’s right…32,125 shots ground since the arrival of our Mazzer in 2013

6Our resident coffee guru Dan gets behind the machine

7The all-important QA