|8||WeightB0ard - An Internet connected, weight-sensitive ingredient tray
|Thomas Driscoll, August Gress, Kyle Patel - [netid: tfd2][netid: augustg2][netid: kylep2]
In any environment that involves cooking or food preparation, knowing the amount of ingredients on hand is of the utmost importance. This can range from large-scale restaurants that have massive quantities of any given food to athletes engaging in meal prep, often down to the gram. In between these two extremes also exist the average consumer, who rely on unreliable memory and insatiable hunger when shopping instead of their objective needs.
Solution: An internet connected, weight-sensitive kitchen cabinet/tray that pings a grocery list app. For items such as rice, sugar, flour, protein powder, creatine, etc., a scale could measure the amount at home. If it falls below an ingredient-appropriate threshold, a microcontroller will send an update to a user's phone. Simply checking the app once in the store, or while placing a large order, allows the user to purchase the correct amount of food. It will have 7 separately sized sensors that accurately measure ingredient amounts placed on top of it, which will be a proof-of-concept to show our idea's scalability.
- We will use an ATMEGA328P micro-controller as the main interface for the tray, and an ESP8266 WiFi adapter to connect to the internet. There will also be a power jack for plugging the tray into an electrical socket. We will code using the Arduino IDE. The PCB substrate will likely be basic FR-4 and the board itself will most likely consist of one layer.
- The tray itself would contain 7 separate pressure sensitive plates that can measure the weight of whatever is placed on top of it. The division would be as follows: 1 large sensor, 2 medium sensors, and 4 small sensors. Each plate will require a power source; our goal is to design a circuit such that we can use one input source (i.e. a wall socket) to power the entire tray (including micro-controller).
Mobile App (software)
- Our app would be very simple and mostly serve to complement the WeightB0ard. The front-end would be written in React Native to allow cross-platform support while the back-end would be a very simple Flask API that performs GET operations. In the interest of robust data collection, we would have a server hosting a MySQL database that the API pings. The server itself would be hosted on any free platform like AWS.
Criterion for success :
- Able to measure the weight of ingredients placed on pressure sensitive pads
- Weight (in grams) is reported to a mobile application
- Weight sensitive pads are precise enough to accurately measure weight differences on the smaller pads (as well as the larger ones)
- Board will send information about the ingredients on it at any time and works over the Internet (not just a local network)
- Board is compact enough to comfortably fit within a cupboard or half a kitchen cabinet
- Tray is resilient to any food spillage such that no electronics are seriously damaged in case it occurs.