Introduction: Pizza Button

About: I tinker with things at Instructables.

Sophomore college men, New Yorkers, late-night techies, and the truly lazy: welcome to your fantasy. Introducing the ultimate upgrade in gastronomical technology, the Pizza Button. No need to pick up the phone to order pizza anymore. Simply press this button and wait while it orders delivery pizza to your address.

The Pizza Button uses a BeagleBone Black (BBB) board to do the heavy-lifting in this project. A button press triggers the board to run a web scraper. The web scraper logs into your Grub Hub account and orders pizza from the famous San Francisco North Beach Pizza (meaning that currently this button only works in San Francisco, but honestly, would you really want to be anywhere else?) It orders a large cheese pizza, pays for the pizza, and has it delivered right to your door. This project is very simple to make and irresistible to use!

Future updates to this project include:

  • WiFi
  • Internal GPS
  • Pizza Smell to only enhance your appetite

Parts List

Additional Materials

Step 1: Print the Pizza Sticker

Find a mouth-watering picture of a pizza and print it out on sticky paper. I used a vinyl cutter, but a standard printer would work as well.

Step 2: Take the Arcade Button Apart

The arcade button comes with a switch locked into its base. Simply twist the switch counterclockwise and feel it unlock. Pull the switch out from inside the button's tapped neck (tapping is the grooves you see in objects like screws). There will be an LED attached to the switch. Next, unscrew the small black ring from the tapped neck so the button's base can be pulled away. Inside the neck are two white tabs. Push them inward and down to push the plastic button face away from the neck. Now all that is left is the clear button face attached to the white platform with the tabs. Use a small screwdriver to pry the button face off the white platform.

Step 3: Apply the Sticker and Reassemble the Button

Cut the sticker out and attach it to the smooth white platform. This way, it will be seen through the clear button face. Reassemble the button.

Step 4: Make the Box

I started with flat pizza boxes I bought from the container store. However, feel free to use your favorite pizza boxes! This base requires three pizza boxes stacked on top of each other, which will accommodate the rather larger arcade button and house the electronics. Begin with the bottom box. Find and mark the box's center with a ruler, and use a cup to draw a circle around it. Cut the hole out with an X-Acto knife. Cut a hole on the top of the bottom box, and holes on both the top and bottom of the middle and top boxes. Stack the boxes together and glue them together with a hot glue gun. Place the button on the top to make sure the switch fits through the hole.

Step 5: The Circuit

This circuit is fairly straight forward. When pressed, the arcade button triggers both the code to run and the LED inside the button to light up.

Step 6: Communicating With the Beagle Bone Black

This project is my first experience with the BeagleBone Black Board. In my opinion, the BeagleBoard is quite similar to the RaspberryPi board but with more gpio pins. Read more about the BeagleBoard at its official community site and discover the main differences between the BeagleBoard and Raspberry Pi here.

This project uses a Rev C BeagleBone Black board running off a 16G micro SD card flashed with the Debian environment. You can use any size micro SD card greater than 8G. Although the new BeagleBone Black Board has a 4G onboard processor, Debian's desktop environment requires more storage space. To interact with the board, simply plug it into your computer with the micro HDMI to USB cable that comes with your board. The 'user leds' located next to the ethernet port should flash in a pattern programmed to mimic the human pulse (the beagle makers are cool, right?) and the board's icon should pop onto your Desktop. If you are using a mac, you can program your board two different ways:


    Open the terminal and type into the command line
    ssh root@
    If when you are prompted for a password, type

    ** If this doesn't work because of an "offending ssh key" **

    Type into the command line

    rm -f .ssh/known_hosts
    ssh root@

    ** If this still doesn't work **

    Type into the command line

    sudo ssh root@


    You can also vnc into the board's desktop environment and program it from there. Follow the steps below to do this.

    • Download Remote Desktop Connection for mac from here.
    • Open Remote Desktop Connection and in the input box for 'Computer' type ''
    • Inside the remote desktop pop-up, type 'root' for both the username and password.
    • You will be presented with the Beagle Board's desktop.

Step 7: The Code

This code automatically signs into your personal GrubHub account, navigates to the menu for North Beach Pizza, and orders a large cheese pizza. It's all trigger by a press of a button!

It does all this with by interacting with webpages with Selenium using a headless web browser PhantomJS. What's selenium? It's a software package that does all the clicking through webpages for you (remember, this project is for the ultimate lazies out there). What's a headless web browser? Learn more here, but in short, it's a web browser (think of Safari, Firefox and, dare I say, Netscape) without a graphical user interface. This makes automating web page navigation MUCH faster (you're hungry for pizza, so you want your order to be sent as fast as possible).

Things you will have to edit within the code:

  • GrubHub login information, which includes your username and password
  • Credit card info


Step 8: File Transfer From Your Computer to the BBB

You can transfer files like '' from your computer to the BBB with simple commands in the terminal environment.

Generically, the way to transfer a file from your computer to the BBB looks like

scp /home/filename.file user@IPAddress:/directory

Breaking this down:

  • 'scp': The command 'scp' allows files to be copied to, from, or between different hosts. It uses ssh for data transfer and provides the same authentication and same level of security as ssh.
  • '/home/filename.file': The file location on your computer.
  • 'user@IPAddress:/directory': The BBB's login information and where on the board you want to copy the file to.

For example, let's say I downloaded and saved '' to my computer's Desktop. Now I want to transfer it to the BBB's Desktop. I will open my computer's terminal and type

scp /Users/dot/Desktop/ root@

Don't copy this example word for word, since the paths on your computer and BBB will be different than mine.

I found this information from a useful website here, where you can also learn how to transfer folders of content.

Step 9: Installing the Proper Libraries Onto the BBB

You'll have to install a few libraries for the code to work properly. To install anything on your BBB, it must:

  • Be plugged into ethernet
  • Powered by your computer (if you are communicating to your board through the terminal)
  • Powered by a 5V wall wart (if you are connecting the board to a monitor)

I personally powered my board through my computer and programmed it via the ssh command, which was previously described in "Communicating With The Beagle Bone Black".

You will have to install:

  • Python
  • Adafruit's GPIO python library
  • Selenium
  • PhantomJS headless web browser

Step 10: Installing Python and Adafruit's I/O Library

The Beaglebone Black Board has lots of gpio pins, 65 in total, making it unique amongst the many mini computers and microprocessor boards on the market. Two gpio libraries compatible with the Beagle's gpio pins are BoneScript's built-in library and Adafruit's Python GPIO library. Because I am personally more comfortable with Python, I decided to use the Python GPIO library. The library is fairly simple to download. First, ssh into the Beagle Board and install the following dependencies:

sudo ntpdate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential python-dev python-setuptools python-pip python-smbus -y

Then type the following command into install the python gpio library

sudo pip install Adafruit_BBIO

Step 11: Installing Selenium

Selenium, simply put, automates web browsers. What this project mainly uses is the Selenium WebDriver, which accepts commands, sends them to a browser like Chrome or Firefox, and retrieves results. This project uses Selenium's python bindings. I could have used javascript bindings, but I preferred to keep the code in a single language and since I decided to use python to control the BBB's GPIO pins, I also used python for my web scraper.

To install selenium, ssh into the BBB and type into the command line

> sudo pip install selenium

Step 12: Using Selenium With a Headless Webbrowser

To install PhantomJS so you can use the PhantomJS headless web browswer, ssh into the BBB and type into the command line

sudo apt-get install build-essential chrpath git-core libssl-dev 
git clone git://
cd phantomjs
git checkout 1.9

These instructions came from the PhantomJS website here. I ran into many problems trying to install PhantomJS, but was finally successful following these commands.

Step 13: Pizza Time

Now sit back and enjoy your pizza.