Not much can improve your mood as quickly and reliably as receiving a nice compliment, and therefore we all enjoy getting one. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a willing compliment-giver around when we need one. Well, there isn’t unless you build one like Andrew MacPherson did.
After learning that compliments—even feigned ones—can lift one’s spirits and warm the heart, MacPherson set out to build a machine for printing out compliments on demand. The heart of the machine is a thermal printer, like the kind commonly used to print receipts. That’s controlled by an inexpensive Arduino Nano clone that has been loaded up with compliments written by MacPherson’s friend.
As you can imagine, the printer is pretty power-hungry, and needed a 12V power supply that was capable of providing a couple of amps. The Arduino Nano should really be run at 5V, so he used a common buck converter so that the same power supply could drive both the printer and Arduino. He was able to fit all of that inside of the printer’s enclosure, which saved him the trouble of designing and making one.
The button to trigger the printing of a new compliment is an arcade button. When it’s pushed, the Arduino selects a random compliment, and prints it out. Getting good quality prints took a bit of trial and error, but it’s working great now. If you want to see it in action, and happen to live in Cape Town, South Africa, the compliment printer has taken up residence at SurfaRosa bar.