Building Bartenders with Open Source Hardware and Google Assistant

Cocktails Powered by Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and the Google Cloud

Alasdair Allan
3 min readApr 27, 2017

Once upon a time in San Francisco there was a series of events called Barbot that featured robots pouring cocktails, and the makers who loved them.

Google has a long history of bringing makers in to build things with their technology to show what it can do. I should know, I’ve been one of those makers. Bringing those two things together gives us the Mocktails Mixer.

The Mocktails Mixer (📷: Deeplocal)

Powered by a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino, and the Google Assistant SDK, Google has joined up with innovation studio Deeplocal to create a voice-controlled robotic home bartender that serves both drinks, and small talk.

The body of the mixer is built from laser cut acrylic and, like a lot of the bartending robots that have gone before, it uses peristaltic pumps to move the ingredients around the bot.

A peristaltic pump and relay being installed on a panel. (📷: Deeplocal)

The control system is powered by a Raspberry Pi which talks both to the electrical system of the mixer, controlled in turn by an Arduino, and to the Google Cloud allowing it to create a conversational interface for the bartending bot.

Attaching the Arduino. (📷: Deeplocal)

What’s unique about this build, apart from the voice interface and the clever behind-the-scenes machine learning that drives it, is the amazing effort that’s gone into documenting it.

From constructing the body of the mixer built out of laser cut parts, to the wiring harness, control system, and the software that drives it all. Everything is documented.

The Pump-Relay Control Panel. (📷: Deeplocal)

Accompanied by beautiful photography, the hardware, and software for the build are meticulously detailed in the project’s GitHub repo allowing you to go out and recreate the bartending robot.

Adding fluid delivery tubes. (📷: Deeplocal)

If you want to build your own barbot, or play with Google’s Assistant SDK, this project is an amazing place to start. There’s a wealth of code here to borrow, or outright steal, to go into your own project—whether you’re looking to drive peristaltic pumps with an Arduino, or talk to the Google Cloud with a Raspberry Pi.

But if you do go out and build your own barbot, just one suggestions. Maybe drop the “mock-” part of the mocktails? Just a thought.