Experimenter Nathan Broadbent had one of those "why doesn't the world work the way I want?" moments that most of us get. Unlike most of us he decided to make his corner of the world work exactly that way.
A few months ago, I was inspired by this post on Reddit, titled: Food items should have QR codes that instruct the microwave exactly what to do. Like high for 2 minutes, let stand 1 minute, medium 1 minutes..Pretty cool - and pretty ambitious when you include starting the worldwide database of microwave cooking instructions. Lots of details at the link, but watch the video of how it ended up and actually works now.
I thought this was a pretty cool idea, and that it would be a fun project for a Raspberry Pi. I agreed with the people who thought using UPC barcodes would be better, since products already have them, so I went with a barcode scanner + online product database.
Here’s a summary of the features that I’ve added to my microwave:
- Re-designed touchpad
- Nicer sounds
- Clock is automatically updated from the internet
- Can be controlled with voice commands
- Can use a barcode scanner to look up cooking instructions from an online database
- There weren’t any online microwave cooking databases around, so I made one: http://microwavecookingdb.com
- The microwave has a web page so you can control it from your phone (why not), and set up cooking instructions for products
- Tweets after it’s finished cooking something (See https://twitter.com/rbmicrowave)
Pretty amazing what a guy can do with relatively simple hardware and the experimenter's spirit.