Let's Make Robots!

Alfred the butler bot *Advanced*

Serves chilled wine among other things

QR Code


*New Update*

If you are interested in my other robots/projects please visit my personal webpage at www.secondrobotics.com


*Older Update*

I recently took Alfred to a class of kids, they were having robot week. So Alfred went to visit we had him use his text to speech to say all of the kids names as well as read a story to the kids as my wife flipped though a book,  I knew if I did not have the robot move around the kids might not have though of alfred as a true robot so I loaded up roborealm and had it chase a green ball around the room carried by the children here is a video of the kids playing with the robot.  At the end I had Alfred serve the children some juice by this time they were super excited to meet a real robot.  As you can see in the video the room had a few green colored objects on the wall that confused the vision software, I also reduced the speed at which the robot moved as not to fighten them.  All and all if was a fun experiance for me as well as the kids.


I found a program to read the LM335 sensor and calibrated it.  I then kicked on the TeC fridge to see what temps I could get I got down to a measured 51.40 F which im very happy with. Its a temperature that covers alot of wine serving temps.  I now need to work on a program that can keep the temperature at the desired temp I set.


Small but oh so awesome update It occured to me that everytime I open the my own fridge is a nice white light that shines everyware so I decited to add a super bright LED to the LM335 precision temperature sensor board. I scuffed up the plastic of the LED to defuse the light a bit and volla a fully functioning fridge that can be temperature controlled.  I also can account for the heat given off by the LED so the temp will be accurate.  I used non-conductive thermal epoxy to mount the board. 

*First Post*

So the project will be to make my very own butler bot, I will call him Alfred and it shale be that

To start here is a site I used to blog Alfred's progress



I wanted a robot butler so I set out to create something useful I ended up with a robot that can pump wine into a glass once it detected one, though I did not stop there I added a on board 50 Watt TEC mini fridge to keep the temperature of the wine down as It served it. Though that's when I started getting into trouble with the battery life with the fridge on the main battery pack will last about 40 mins.  I use a solid state dual realy control board to switch on the TEC and the pump.  For higher lvl processing there is a sony viao on the top level doing vision processing with RoboRealm.

It has on board a 5 port usb hub that is powered by a DC to DC converter off the main pack this allows the robot to play music though on board speakers when a laptop is not available or to simple be a charger for mobile devices.

50 Watt Mini Fridge


Here is the mini fridge made of Styrofoam and a layer of carbon fiber.

Drip collector

Here is a drip collector I made by gutting a 80mm computer case fan and inserting a sponge n case of drips

Me showing off the wine clearance

Some of the earlier pictures of the process


Here is a link to the video of it serving tea at a lan party


Drink pouring system(on board TEC chiller)
Pandora radio
charging system for I-pod or phone(anything that uses usb to charge)
on board robo-realm navigation and higher lvl processing
5 volt DC-DC converter

Future upgrades:

bigger battery pack for longer run time
sensor's and lots of em so that the base can navigate with out the laptop if needed
remote docking to charge

Hope you like the video, please feel free to ask questions or leave comments




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

nice bot! what did you use for the decks?

The base is from a kit found at the site below, the rest is me piecing it together over time with various other parts.

I believe it is pvc sheet plastic though in case you are looking into the base material Ive found it easy to drill into and cut, and so far the strength has been impressive.


I have been working on a robot butler for years and I must say yours is very impressive! I just recently finalized the base design for mine after 4 years of scrapped designs and have been working on a lot on basic navigation. I am excited to see what you can do as far as navigating using the connect because my design has been reliant mostly on ultrasonic and ir sensors so far which has resulted in very poor navigation.

Please keep us posted on your endeavors into navigation because that is most certainly the hardest part. 

Also I noticed you where considering using a compass sensor to aid in navigation, a word of caution on that, compass sensors are very inaccurate "I have been trying to use one on my bot for a while and it varies +-10 degrees just driving down the hall". However I recently purchased a rate gyroscope and using some cleaver math I can determine my heading to +-1 degree after executing a complex series of turns. One method I have yet to investigate for determining heading is a combination of both I saw in this seattle robotics society tutorial http://www.seattlerobotics.org/encoder/200311/brown/building_a_directional_gyro.html . You might want to check it out because my biggest problem with navigation so far has been poor turns due to error first with encoders then with my compass.

Good luck! Hope to see some impressive navigation!

Nice work.  Kinda makes me thirsty.  I could really use one with sand-tires to follow me down the beach and carry a 6-pack of my cheap beer for me.

On the nav front, some people don't like the results from using a compass, but I have been very happy with mine, can't imagine doing without it.  It will turn or lock onto any heading and hold it very closely.  If you come up with a good substitute for GPS indoors, please pass it on.  I've been racking my brain to come up with video based methods as well, mostly OpenCV.  Even tried OCR for a time...it worked but I didn't want to have to put words on the walls in every room.



Are you sure the windshield wiper pump is safe for human consumption?  I noticed Trossen has pumps that are food safe.



I would agree that the windshield wiper pump is not the best option. I did take it under consideration and used silicon tubing on the build, however a peristaltic pump would be ideal as the liquid only touches the interior of the silicon tubing. Cost of a decent peristaltic pump at the time of the build was outside my budget.

Thanks for you comment.