Picture of Build A Mobile Bar - BaR2D2
BaR2D2 is a radio-controlled, mobile bar that features a motorized beer elevator, motorized ice/mixer drawer, six-bottle shot dispenser, and sound activated neon lighting. The robot is driveable so you can take the party on the road! It was created in my garage using standard hand/power tools and readily available parts and materials.

The concept for BaR2D2 was born when a friend showed up to an event with a radio-controlled cooler. We joked about taking the idea to the next level and in the Spring of 2008, construction began.

If you enjoy BaR2D2 as much as we have, be sure to rate this Instructable a 5 and vote for it in The Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest!

Just a quick note about me - I am a regular DIY'r and don't have any formal robotics, electronics, or mechanical training. I have picked up most of my skills from various hobbies and projects, as well as my father who is a skilled woodworker. If you have a basic knowledge of woodworking and working with low voltage power, then you can build a mobile bar! Enjoy!

Step 1: Creating the Framework

As far as tooling for this project, here is a pretty good idea of what you'll need:

Drill Press
Table Saw
Hand Drill
Wire Strippers
Soldering iron
Various Clamps
Dremel Tool
Utility Knife
Heat gun (hairdryer will work)
Air Compressor
Air Stapler/nailer
Socket Set
Belt Sander

First, purchase a sheet of 4ft x 8ft x 3/4 inch plywood. I used the flooring grade as it will be covered later.

Cut the sheet into 8 2ft x 2ft squares and mark their center points by drawing an X across the middle from the corners. Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the middle of them.

Using a router table, measure out 9 inches from the edge of the cutting bit and bolt your wood square loosely to it. Turn the router on and plunge it slowly upwards until it goes through the wood. Lock the router in place and proceed to rotate the squares until you complete the circle. Repeat eight times. This will give you 18 inch circles. Why 18 inches? I am using an off-the-shelf plastic dome that is that size. Specifically, it is a clear dome from Aspects used for bird feeders. This was purchased from a bird store for $35. The shot dispenser we are using is available on ebay new for $30.

Three of the circles will be cut into rings. To cut out the centers, I made a quick jig as pictured to be able to rotate the circles against it. Two of the finished rings should be 1.75 inches thick and one will be 1 inch thick.

Take one of the circles and setup the router to create a groove about 3/4 through the thickness for the dome to sit in.
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I've seen this project around 100 times, and every 100 times I think it's fantastic! Congratulations. The project itself is incredible, and the instructable was neat, simple, and sharp clear! Thanks for sharing this.
jamiep (author)  AngelAscanio4 years ago
thanks! on a related note - you can friend the robot on facebook and see his travels (just got back from Hong Kong, China!)

facebook name:
Bartwo Dtwo
urwatuis jamiep9 months ago

I looked on Facebook and there is no option to friend BaR2D2. Did you reach the max # of friends?

jamiep (author)  AngelAscanio4 years ago
On another note - check out my latest project that is in the Humana contest. If you think it's a winner, vote and rank it highly. Thanks!

nopesi6 years ago
I have been trying to figure out how to make something like this for my home. I have bought a windshield wiper pump and it sorta works just dont have the money to pay that much to do it!! Where would I find a push button panel like the one shown? See link and pictures below.
souichi nopesi3 years ago
Why not just use an air pump that ill just push the liquid out rather than passing thru a pump... and to choose the drink have a servo motor to grip the hose to open and close with the switch...

or another is have an electronic valve..
jamiep (author)  nopesi6 years ago
I have seen that system. This system basically uses pumps and switches. You can get switches at Radio Shack and custom make your own plate. Another place to google is barmonkey. they have been experimenting with this type of thing. one note about washer pumps - some say they are fine, but some say they are concerned about the oils and seals in them being toxic. just something to think about.
Sidebar does sell replacement pumps for $39 at this link
nopesi jamiep6 years ago
I went to bar monkey but that looks real complex and what I would love to find out if someone were to call this company what type of pumps they use as it does not work on CO2 and where can u buy momentary swithes like whats pictured?
jamiep (author)  nopesi6 years ago
Momentary switches are sold anywhere electronic parts are sold. As for their pumps, they are probably using food grade pumps or non-contact pumps. As for complexity, I thought the barmonkey setup was one of the more straight forward ones I have seen. jamie
nopesi jamiep6 years ago
Any idea on where to get these pumps and switches like in the picture????You can call me 1-800-809-8433
jamiep (author)  nopesi6 years ago
No, I don't know where to specifically get the ones in the picture. jamie
Wow. That's amazing. Great job!
gyromonkey4 years ago
Possibly the best invention since the wheel……………..
bpark10004 years ago
I have built "R2D2" type robots, and the problem is that they are always top heavy, and tend to upset. One that I built had a top made almost entirely of foam, and still, it tends to upset. The dilemma is with a tripod wheel arrangement, with a castered 3rd wheel, you must keep the load light on the unpowered wheel. That makes the robot tend to upset easily, even with lead-acid batteries low in the bottom.

It looks like yours has a lot of weight up high, and a tripod wheel arrangement that looks even tighter than mine. How do you get stability? What is the total weight of the robot? Has anyone ever been "heavy handed" at a party and knocked it over? Mine gets overturned at Halloween.

I am taking a 2nd shot at getting the AGC schematic on the site (for the neon driver). Another comment about modulating lights to music: I have never seen anyone else have lights that are on and get dimmer with the music. Having lights in pairs (one dims, one brightens) guarantees that the amount of light is constant, but where it comes from changes. No blackouts when the song ends!
bpark10004 years ago
A comment concerning the modulation of the neon to the music: because the light has less dynamic range than audio, you need an Automatic Gain Control to effectively "compress" the audio dynamic range, and to deal with differing sound levels. This can be done with hardware or software. You detect the level of the audio. Feed this into an integrator that integrates the difference between a constant and the audio level. You want the time constant of the integrator to be on the order of 10 to 30 seconds. The integrator level controls a variable-gain amplifier on the incoming audio. If, the audio level gets loud, the integrator over several seconds adjusts the sensitivity down so the light isn't on constantly. If the level drops, the gain will be adjusted upward, keeping the light from going off totally. These adjustments will keep the light "active" despite differing sound levels. You need to get into the neon driver to get its performance more "linear" and less "flashy". Virtually every "neon" product I have bought has this problem. I have schematics using few parts that can do this.
jamiep (author)  bpark10004 years ago
sounds interesting.... yeah, these are off the shelf neon rings with a sound module with a knob gain adjustment. something that is self correcting could be nice. shoot me the schematics/parts info to jamieaprice at yahoo.com thanks, jamie
Here is the schematic. This is from a "color organ" that has +/- 15V supply, so you will have to most likely modify to run in a single supply. Audio from the microphone is amplified to about 1VRMS for loud room (you need to do that, not included in my schematic). C1 is AC coupling. R1 and Q1 form a voltage divider (JFET Q1 acts as a "voltage-controlled resistor" if the audio level is kept small on the FET). Attenuated audio is fed to X10 gain amp U1. From here, you insert any frequency filtering you want (for example, 30-80 Hz for bass response). The output of the filter rectified and filtered by U2/R13/C7/C8. This signal goes 2 places: 1. to your neon driver circuit control input, and 2. to the AGC integrator via R17. Also feeding the integrator is a fixed voltage via R18. The integrator integrates the difference between these (one is negative). C9/R17 sets the time constant. When the audio is quiet, the integrator output goes positive. A reduced version of this voltage goes to the gate of the JFET, causing its channel resistance to increase. More audio gets to the filter, and more drive to the neon. When the audio gets loud, the integrator goes less positive, reducing the amount of audio that gets through the JFET circuit.

Trimpot V3 sets the level the AGC regulates to. Meter (or LED) indicates whether the circuit is getting enough/too little/too much audio.

Your neon driver probably will need work. You need an input that causes the neon to smoothly brighten/dim as the control voltage is changed. You will most likely want to regulate the current to the driver rather than the voltage. You can use LM324 (4 opamps in an IC) instead of 741.

You can run this on one voltage if you float +input of integrator to about +3V (use resistor divider between +V/GND), and feed GND into R18. You may also need AC coupling/bias network going into U1.
tde18064 years ago
how about some more information on how you made it electronic,

would be cool with some more pictures
jamiep (author)  tde18064 years ago
check out bar2d2 and more pics on flickr... also, you can friend him on facebook: bartwo dtwo

tde18064 years ago
Oh forgot to say I'm crazy about your projects super cool
could i put cokea-cola in it
Jackus954 years ago
It may seem harmless but just wait until it learns to poison drinks...
LuciferRex5 years ago
As if it wasn't already the end-all of machines....now you have to add a liquor mixing component?!?  Amazing.  I bow to your ability.
All hail the moving alcohol machine!
I saw you at Daily Planet...
Amazing project - great Idea, well executed and well explained. Pete
jamiep (author)  PeterTheUnGreat5 years ago
Thanks for the props! Fun project. FYI - the liqour mixing tower upgrade is done and operational! Works great and makes over 5,000 drinks! Once instructables has another good contest and I get some time, I will do a write up on it. jamie
Dear Author:
I still do not understand your method of wiring between the radio controller/receiver and the speed controllers.  Can you send me the sketches that you made for the wiring?  Do I have to use the servo - and does it take signals from the radio controller?  Thank you. 
jamiep (author)  sunrisetoday5 years ago
Sunrise - most speed controllers plug right into the radio reciever. No - you don't use the servos. Your speed controller will have wiring diagram. jamie
Excellent project!
floryzzz5 years ago
 the star wars robot sucks
BaR2D2 rulez
valcider5 years ago
You are a genius! 
kaptaink_cg5 years ago
That's incredibly awesome.

Will you be my friend?? LOL
Gamer9175 years ago
does it play the star wars cantina music?
halolord5 years ago
this is awsome i have recently saw this on tv. i didn't belive it at first but now i do .i also noticed that your i star wars geek like me.Do you happen to have a degree in any thing or no? log live star wars die treckies -jason
jamiep (author)  halolord5 years ago
Thanks for the compliments! While I "enjoy" the Star Wars flicks, I am not gung-ho about them. I have seen them all, but probably only a couple of times. As for the degree, I have one in advertising/public relations/journalism. Most of my crazy building projects are self-taught from experiences here and there. Note - the images you see on this instructable are the older ones without the computerized liquor carousel.
lobonse5 years ago
I think there should be an evil version, like the little dudes on the deathstar, that moves around really fast and shoots cans of beer at unsuspecting partiers. or even better, glass bottles!
Allowance106 years ago
Sick Project. Your project inspired me a few months ago and ever since I have been working on something like it. It use a lego mindstorm NXT to control it via bluetooth logictech remotes. I am using lego and tetrix(metal parts that are compatable with legos!) parts to construct it. It will have a drawer with a table on top that holds an ice bucket and two litter soda bottles. It will probably be done by early september I hope! Very nice ible! -Hunter
do i bow before i read or after?
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