I haven’t been able to put away the BottleBot idea and have 3D printed some of the parts for the robot and conveyor belt and ordered most of the components. I have most of what I need to start coding and functional testing.
I make my own beer at home. I use a 36L kettle and usually end up with a batch of 18-22L of beer. Some while ago I had three batches ready for bottling and ended up filling almost 200 bottles of beer. Analyzing the process of bottling my beer have been fairly simple; Fill a bottle, cap the bottle, label the bottle and put away. My problem is that filling a bottle takes too much time, and I can’t fill the bottle while capping the other. So making a robot and automate the process was my solution.
How I think it will work
The fermentation tank is nearby and a silicone tube is connected to the bottom valve, or is simple dropped inside the tank. The conveyor belt moves the bottle to the filling robot, while a limit switch counts the number of bottles going by. When two bottles are in position the conveyor belt stops and the robot lowers the arm, pump starts and solenoid valves open. The beer is pumped through flow meters before going through the solenoid valves and into the bottles. When the flow meters have detected the correct amount of beer the solenoid valves closes, pump shut off and arm lifts back up. The conveyor belt starts again and brings the two full bottles further down while the limit switch count the next two bottles and repeat the process.
Another great feature would be a self cleaning and sanitizer program, where Star San sanitizer or detergent is simply pumped through in a loop.
When (and if) I get this thing to work I can expand it to also cap the bottles on the belt. And then maybe automatically put on labels! I’m way to ambitious now.. learned the blink sketch a few months ago. Wow.
This is my first sketch of how the wiring can be done. To be tested later.
More prototype building and functional testing to be performed later, in a new post. Stay tuned.