Raspberry Pi uses AI to throw sugar cubes into your cup
This totally adorable project is brought to us by a manufacturer known as Equals Engineering. Instead of just putting sugar in his cup, he chose to create a Raspberry pie-powered sugar serving robot do the work for him. However, this robot does not place the cube in a cup but rather launches it with a spring servo motor mechanism.
According to Equals Engineering, it’s built on a Raspberry Pi 4 that uses a camera to identify and target the cups. Besides sweetening your morning tea, it’s also programmed to do a victory dance after successful throws.
The Pi 4 and camera are mounted in a custom case with 3D printed components inside for mounting hardware. A distance sensor is included to help determine how far the cup is from the robot. DC motors are used to control a pair of wheels that position the robot in place for launch. To make the cubes take off, it relies on a personalized launch mechanism consisting of a spring and a servomotor.
We reached out to Equals Engineering for more details on the AI used in the cup identification process. He confirmed that OpenCV is used to find the larger red object, in this case the cup used to throw cubes in, and draw a bounding box around it. This data is used to set a destination target for the wheels by triggering a signal through GPIO on the Pi to a relay connected to the wheel motors.
For a closer look at the project in action, check out the official Equals Engineering YouTube channel and be sure to follow it for more interesting creations.