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Building BeerBot

Josh Friedman
Aug 7, 2019 · 4 min read

A never-ending supply of cold beer at KI labs to maintain employee happiness.

“Here’s to ̶a̶l̶c̶o̶h̶o̶l̶ BeerBot: the cause of, and solution to, all ̶o̶f̶ ̶l̶i̶f̶e̶’̶s̶ office problems.”

KI labs

Beer + Bot = Success

[Spoiler] We didn’t win the hackathon but managed to snag a bronze 🥉

Our “dream” team consisted of Daniel Cachapa, Markus Fuchs and Josh Friedman (me). The original idea involved sticking a camera in the fridge, specifically the beer fridge, and building a slackbot. Combine the two and 💥 — out comes a BeerBot.

BeerBot monitors the beer fridge with simple image processing to identify the number and coldness of all bottles. It is continually tracking to ensure realtime beer updates. Lastly, the all important feature is its capability to proactively alert when the beer supply is critically low.

In short, it is a modern, reliable, scalable solution to an everyday problem — “do we have beer? is it cold? will we run out? should we reorder?”.

Why?

How?

  • Raspberry Pi 3B+
  • (fish eye) infrared camera with infrared illumination
  • duct tape, duct tape, duct tape
  • beer, beer, beer

Installation

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installation of BeerBot

Processing Pipeline

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BeerBot internals are summarized based on its four main “components”.

Door Detection

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door detection debugging

Bottle Detection

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first bottles detected!

Bottle Tracking

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coldness of new beer tracked in time

Slackbot

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pesky notifications only stop when more beer is supplied!

What’s next for BeerBot?

  • camera calibration (fix brightness and distorted field of view)
  • smarter image processing (train an image classification model)
  • distinguish between different bottles
  • automatic beer purchasing (trigger online purchase based on inventory)
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improved (but not perfect) bottle detection

Get Involved

We are also keen to “expand” BeerBot to any (and ideally) all fridges in Munich. Get in contact if you are excited to see BBaaS (BeerBot as a Service).

Finally, check out www.ki-labs.com for more information about our great products and services.

KI labs Engineering

KI labs Technical Blog https://www.ki-labs.com/

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