Outdoor activities usually involve a cooler on-hand loaded with frosty bottled beverages. Whether it’s relaxing on the beach, playing in the park or digging trenches for new sewer pipes, everyone loves having something cool to drink. Sometimes… that cooler is ‘way out of reach’ and our arms can’t possibly stretch the foot and a half span between the cooler and us. Sure, you could yell for someone to get that beverage for you but that requires significant vocal effort on our part and could have negative consequences. To overcome those obstacles, Bruce Straus and his son Jason designed the ‘Colebot’ robotic robot Coleman cooler to not only bring us the cold bottled drinks, but opens them, and delivers them into our lazy, self-absorbed hands as well.
The Colebot was designed using an Arduino Mega board and two Adafruit motor shields that power a stepper motor, two servos and three linear actuators along with an electromagnet. The beverages are pushed along a trough until it gets to into position of the robotic arm that pries off the bottle cap. The cap is captured by the magnet and dropped into a bin (keeping the area clutter free), after which a platform then raises the beverage out of the cooler.
The robot is controlled with an RC-like controller that lets the user/consumer pilot the robot anywhere they need it. The father/son team even made a couple of ‘accessories’ (add-on cart/coolers) that provide music and even lighting for nighttime activities! These too are also built into coolers and are powered by car batteries, which act like a roving party train when connected together.
When the Colebot turns the corner the first time in the following video… I feel proud to be in the USA! Mantras may begin!