TheBobaBot is the first of its kind vending machine company that disrupts the vending machine industry. Rather than looking at vending machines as static objects where snacks are distributed. TheBobaBot sees the opportunity to make vending machines an alternative to the traditional brick and mortar shop. The vending machines developed will distribute consistent products made to order. It is a longterm goal to having vending machines within a region that can be operated with the same manpower as a single shop.
One aspect of TheBobaBot project is to create an entertaining experience for users. When most people here of vending machines they think of packaged foods but TheBobaBot is different because it is more like a Boba shop just without the workers. We plan to make the machine clear so users can see their drink being made. This CAD model was our first go at designing an entertaining Boba dispenser. We would load the clear tube with Boba (Cap on the top and probably much longer tube). The inner "gear" would spin clockwise dropping boba out a hole in the bottom. We realized the our Boba would be suspended in a liquid syrup which makes this design impractical but it was still fun to design! It would also be hard to manufacture. Next post I'll show you the 3D printed version. (I worked on the Gear and Maureen did the other mating parts).
In the process of applying to the ASUCD eFund grant Maureen and I created a short business proposal. It is a single page but outlined a majority of our goals.
Twice a quarter ASUCD has an entrepreneurship fund that is available to UC Davis undergraduates. In addition to receiving a small grant towards helping jump start our business they also provide mentorship. It is a great little group of people and we are honored to be recipients.
It has been awhile since I've updated my website. I just thought I'd share an update on TheBobaBot. I am quite excited because Maureen and I have come up with a new Boba dispenser design. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of details because this idea might actually be patentable for once.
The biggest design concern for us at the moment is sanitation. Getting sick from Boba is not very common because of the ingredients. Our main concern is being able to easily clean theBobaBot to prevent any mold/bacteria growth. Almost everything must be easily removed from the machine for a thorough cleaning. Our new mechanism will not have any contact with the Boba and will need very minimal cleaning. I'm really excited and cannot wait to give another update to you, my readers... me haha!
Back to Sta131A homework.
TheBobaBot needs to be as convenient as possible for users to use. This includes payment methods. I recently got a hold of a MagTek credit card reader to begin development. It has two ways to interface with a computer: Keyboard emulation and HID. I have decided to use HID so that it can interface with a client without a visual GUI that takes keystrokes instead the processor can run in the background.
I started by downloading the hidapi from github and experimenting with capturing data with C++. I then realized that stripe, the credit card processor, does not have a C++ api so decided to switch to python. Luckily there is a Cython bridger for the hidapi. I am going to continue developing and begin tying it to stripe.
Maureen finally completed the manufacturing of our Boba dispenser. I am super excited and am going to be testing it next week. Unfortunately because we believe the design may be patentable I will not be sharing design files but might show it in action!