Weekly Project: Follow Me--the Mobile Beverage Cooler

Picture of Weekly Project: Follow Me--the Mobile Beverage Cooler
Invariably, when you want's over there--the cooler, that is, holding your favorite beverage chilled to perfection. Whether you're at the beach, on a picnic, or sitting at home watching a DVD, when you get thirsty it's time to get up and make a round trip to the ice bucket, cooler, or fridge. Rather than making the effort, why not have the drink come to you?

Just Follow Me.

This Mobile Beverage Cooler is built from several odd-fellow discarded surplus components that are reincarnated in a robust remote-controlled platform capable of delivering a chilled drink container to you with just the wave of your hand. Now don't misconstrue Follow Me as a faithful servant awaiting your beckoning call, rather this mobile cooler is a proof of concept platform that can be the basis for a bigger and grander project.

Serving as the foundation for Follow Me is a discounted plastic model tank kit. This 1/25th scale Jagdpanther kit by Academy was selected solely based on price. There is neither actual nor implied endorsement of this German tank destroyer. If you can find another large scale armored fighting vehicle kit, use it.

It's been mentioned in various books and magazines that tank kits from Academy represent one of the best bargains in mobile platform hacking. Two motors complete with gearboxes are mounted in a neat, self-contained chassis. Even if you don't intend to build a tracked beverage cooler, this motor/gearbox combination can be used in a variety of other projects.

Controlling the movements of the plastic model tank are two Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors. Rather than sound an alarm, these motion detectors are modified to trigger a relay that, in turn, activates one of the tank's electric motors. Furthermore, a PIR sensor is independently tied to each motor. Therefore, crude turns and forward movements can be controlled by signals from a combination of both sensors. All is not bliss with Follow Me, however.

There are two significant and limiting parameters that govern the operation of the PIR sensor. First, there is a 15-second delay period following each sensor trigger. Therefore, sudden changes in direction might not be picked up by Follow Me.

A second limitation can be even more stubborn to overcome. Following a trigger by the PIR sensor, the relay is held closed for approximately two seconds. This duration translates into roughly 1-2-feet of travel. If a longer time of operation is desired delay circuits can be added to the relay's output. Instructions for this type of modification are supplied with each surplus PIR sensor.

During testing of Follow Me a range of 10-15 feet was needed for obtaining optimal sensor readings. Furthermore, the sensor is more sensitive slightly off center.

The operational Follow Me Mobile Beverage Cooler is easily capable of transporting a previously chilled drink to you (provided you are patient; remember the speed is roughly 1 inch per second as you wave your hands) or you can opt for adding your own drink chilling system with a Peltier Junction. This optional add-on chiller will require a separate 6.5-12V power source (plus thermal protection and heat dissipation).

Either way, arming your next party with a battalion of Follow Me Mobile Beverage Coolers could give a new definition to getting blitzed.

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brainspater7 years ago
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What does that mean?
I used to agree, but then it become Pibb Extra. Blegh. lol. I'll stick to my root beer thanks. lol
dew. definetley dew. or... full throttle. recently discovered it, fell in love.
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someone contact Guinness world records for the most time between replying to your own comment.
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sorry, it's just that it was 3 months between those two, and if I thought of coke, I wouldn't think immediately of this.
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I'm sorry about your bad day. :/
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I tried to snort coke once, but the ice cubes got stuck in my nose.
ehh, i'm not a coke fan, it makes my teeth like, brittle, Monster FTW!!!
Moxie! Moxie! Moxie!
Dr. Pepper!
Thundertydus, will you be my can of monster? :3
 OMG! 18 replys! I thinks thats a record!
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 This reply's validity is affected by it's very existence:

There are now 21 replies in this reply chain! A NEW, NEW RECORD!
no... look at the comments for "how to grow miracle berries". they go off the page.
lol.. MD for life... and fanta :)
Don't really like full throttle myself (gives me heart burn), but I have taken a greater liking to the Dew as of late.
diet dew is great because it stays carbonated longer, and walmart (dont shop there) has a dr thunder that tastes better than dr pepper, IMO.
Diet dew has asparatame, so does fresca and such, not saying its wrong to drink it because i like it as well, just warning ahead of time.
That's kinda true for most diet pops though.
nos energy and monster for me
Monster's my energy drink of choice as well, I've taken to drinking their coffees though because they've got less caffiene, and I seem to get flushed from the energy drinks a lot lately. I really don't drink that much caffiene, but it just seems to mess with me as of late. Wierd.
I like rockstar/monster coffee energy drinks, and I've never tried nos, and every time I see it I want to.
All you guys fail, Bawls FTW
I've never (and always wanted to) try it.
i like the monster irish blend but whenever im taking adhd medication i like to drink full blown monster
Nothing like a caffeine induced coma. lol. Seriously though, try not to drink too many of those with your meds bud, that much caffeine can be hell on your system.
rootbeer is the drink of the gods.
TechPaul3 years ago
The PIRs sometimes have adjustable pulse counters, also have a look at children ride-on electric trikes/bikes/cars. They're cheap can carry 20-30Kg, and are even dumped for curbside cleanup at times, steering and cheap plastic wheels are the con.
Fashim4 years ago
How does it manage to pick up the drink and so forth?
hg3415 years ago
dose it shot you if you dont take the drink?
wenpherd5 years ago
tanks for the memory! thats the name of a hagans heroes episode
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