A Chilean Drinkbot with a Sense of Humor

A Chilean Drinkbot with a Sense of Humor

The Indio Pícaro doll is a national joke in Chile, one which Nathan Pahucki and Pablo Castro wanted to capitalize on at the Santiago Mini Maker Faire. Their project, PissCO, is a robotic drink machine in which each Indian doll… well… dispenses a particular drink ingredient. The user chooses their drink from a tablet which is connected to a Raspberry Pi-based web server. The Raspberry Pi, in turn, controls the servo motors and peristaltic pumps to dispense the drink according to its recipe.

They encountered a few challenges while building PissCO. Besides getting the pumps cleared through Chilean customs, they struggled with modding each of the unique dolls. “I didn’t want to take something that was from a plastic mold,” said Nathan. “Each one of them is different. Because they’re all different it’s hard to take one design and apply it to all of them exactly. They all needed little tiny adjustments in order to get them to work right.”

The reaction to them at the Faire? “The Americans kind of shrug their shoulders,” said Nathan. “But the Chileans die laughing.”

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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