Automate Baking Process

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by DGuggenb, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. DGuggenb

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 12, 2013
    Hey guys,
    I am a mechanical engineer looking for some advice on electronics. I would like to create an automated mixing/cooking process. Something where I could program let's say a gate to open and have ingredients fall into a pot at a certain time, or a valve to open to let a certain amount of liquid in, etc. Early in my schooling I had some experience with C++ and smaller robotics programming, but that knowledge is mostly gone. I have no problem studying and refreshing some of these things on my own, but I need some help in steering me in the right direction. Is C++ the right type of computer lanuage for this? Do I use something like raspberry pi for a microcontroller and then combine this with various servo motors and other small elecronics? It would be a timed process, mainly having certain things happen at certain times. Thanks!
  2. SPQR


    Nov 4, 2011
    There are many many possibilities.
    I like Arduino, but any of the other platforms will work great.
    Do NOT worry about the programming language.
    Recently I was doing some comparisons between PICAXE and Arduino, and one of the users said
    "Don't worry about the programming, you could teach your dog to do it!":D

    If I were you, I'd do the thinking about the mechanics, then think about the sensors/actuators you need.
    Once you get that done, then the rest will fall into place.
    Best of luck.
  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Generally micro controllers don't use C++ but just C, as the demands C++ has for memory are oft not met in tiny systems.

    I'm not an Arduino user but such a platform may well suit you perfectly for your development phase: a simple piece of programmable hardware you can use to do some timed control of the gates and valves. As you get closer to your product goal you can hire out an EE (pick me pick me) who does this stuff to get a better (cost-effective) microcontroller design.
  4. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    HA! I was working on the same thing a couple years ago. Got busy and never finished. I second that C is more useful than C++ for embedded code. You're talking about something that's relatively simple; perfect for C. Most of your simpler development environments will use it as well.

    I like the idea. Good luck.
  5. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Typically, this would be done using Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) or even motorized cams or timers. Any low cost microcontroller will get the job done. And even a simple language such as BASIC on a PICAXE or BASIC Stamp would work.
  6. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    If you open a PLC up, you're likely to find a microcontroller inside anyway....