Developer Hacks Microwave with Raspberry Pi to Create AWESOMENESS!

You know, microwaves have been relatively unchanged since their original inception.  I mean, sure knobs changed to buttons, an LCD display was added, and the inclusion for preset heating durations made microwave use more convenient, but since we live in a world of computers, tablets, smartphones (where even REFRIGERATORS have built-in screens/tablets), the microwave gets ignored like the toaster; and it’s 2013! Until now. Developer Nathan Broadbent hacked his microwave to include voice commands, the ability to scan barcodes for pre-set cooking times and a self-setting clock! All thanks to his regular microwave and the Raspberry Pi microcomputer.

The device is known as the “Raspbery Picrowave” — get it? — as the microwave utilizes the $25/$35 microcomputer that has become well-loved by hackers, modders and my fellow nerd/geek bretheren/sisteren/something-like that-eren.  The hacked microwave has a clock that can set/update itself via the internet, use a barcode scanner to pull cooking instructions from an online database (made by Broadbent), voice commands (such as “Microwave, Twenty Seconds, Low;” Broadbent is working on solving issues with acoustics), custom sound effects, control the microwave from a smartphone, and send out tweets when the microwave is finished cooking; because WHY NOT.

That self-setting clock is strangely my favorite feature, mainly due to the every-three-month-or-so power outages in my area as having to constantly reset the clock to the correct time becomes quite the annoyance.  The many uses of the Raspberry Pi never fail to amaze me, but if you read about the deeper details about how Broadbent wired the Pi to the microwave’s power supply, designing a whole new control panel, etching/producing a custom PCB to fit where the original one was held….WOW

 

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