Coffee in the morning? Nah. We have buttermilk. Powered by littleBits. Made the Indian way.
Makerspark's Milind wanted to shift to a healthier lifestyle. Which meant no coffee or tea in the morning. He quite fancied buttermilk as a replacement, but the packaged stuff just doesn't cut it.
Hence, the ButterBot.
The Indian way of making buttermilk involves churning curd to and fro to get the fat out as butter, and leave the liquid behind as buttermilk. This is usually done with a wooden stirrer and a rope wrapped around it – tugging on either ends of the rope makes the stirrer churn the life out of the fat.
The ButterBot does this using a servo motor, and time-bound automation is built in using the cloudBit. We didn't want to get into the complexities of gearing and wanted the device have an earthy feel to it. So we got two plates of wood turned on a lathe, used one as a plate for the servo motor, the other as a holder for the churner, held the two together with a piece of laser cut acrylic and connected the motion with a piece of red twine.
How To Make It
The circuit is as simple too ---- USB Power ---> cloudBit ---> Branch ---> Output 1. Pulse + Buzzer --- Output 2. Latch + Pulse + Servo
The Pulse speed determines the churning speed, so adjust it according to the viscosity of curd.
Automate with IFTTT.
> If every day at 08:00 AM, then set cloudBit output level 100% for 3 seconds.
> output1 enables buzzer when starts churning
> output2 latch turns servo into an ON switch
Churning begins, with that added sound of wooden beads for a nice rhythmic background score.
> If every day at 08:30 AM, then set cloudBit output level 100% for 3 seconds.
> output1 enables buzzer when starts stops churning
> output2 latch turns servo into an OFF switch
Churning stops. ButterBot chills for a while to let the butter rise.
To consume, you can separate the butter with a spoon (and use it as fresh breadspread with a little salt). Pour out a few glasses, garnish (in India we like salt, fresh crushed cumin, coriander and a little bit of garlic). By all means, get creative with the garnishing!
You can pour fresh milk into the same bowl, put the servo lid on and leave the curd to set for the next day. At 8:00 AM, the Bot will begin its work automatically!