When you woke up this morning, you likely made something rather boring or pre-packaged, like oatmeal, cereal, or a frozen biscuit of some kind. James Bruton, however, has another idea— just let your robot do it!
What he’s come up with is a robotic assembly that is able to boil an egg. While perhaps the most basic of breakfast cooking tasks, it’s an egg-celent (sorry) start, and he’s planning to expand its repertoire as a sort of ongoing theme/project.
The robot first holds an egg in a metal basket and rotates it over a nearly boiling saucepan using a servo/turntable assembly. The egg is lowered into the water with a motor and encoder setup outlined here, then waits for six minutes (or 360,000 milliseconds in Arduino-speak) to take it out. From there, the egg is rotated out and flipped by yet another servo into the “done” basket.
Possible upgrades include automatic temperature control and even an arm to initially place the egg in the basket. As of now, it features a nice LCD screen and control panel, along with dual Arduinos — one to handle the lifting motor assembly, while the other takes care of everything else.
It’s certainly an entertaining concept, and programming the device as a state machine, as outlined around 7:15 in the video below, is a technique that would be useful in many applications.