State Machine: Ovens
Problem: While cooking, a chef must keep an eye on two different temperatures in order to make sure what put in an oven is cooked through. The oven temperature is easy enough, most ovens print their temperature on an LCD screen and some even “beep” when it reaches a target temperature. That’s great, but the more important number, one could argue, is the internal temperature of whatever is in the oven. How can someone keep track of that temperature without opening the oven to check/disturbing the oven temperature?
General solution: A (5 year from now quality) temperature sensor that transmits the food’s internal temperature and translates its “done-ness” not through numbers, but through sound frequency. Sound would potentially allow for a better gradient for understanding where your food is at in its cooking progression and it would also allow chefs to know the status at all times even if they leave the room or start looking at other things in the kitchen.
Proof of Concept: My system utilized the following components:
- A temperature sensor: used to read ambient temperature in the demo, but symbolizes the internal temperature of a food
- Servo: acts as output mechanism to create sound patterns to relay information about food’s cooking state
- Right now, I have the delays set up based on different ranges between the “final temperature” of your food and its “current temperature”. For the servo, it makes the most sense because it would be pretty difficult to distinguish between single digits on angles of rotation (frequency) as opposed to how often it oscillates between two points. If I would have used a speaker, I probably would have set it up so that the frequency/pitch of the sound generated by the temperature difference acts as a gradient because it is relatively easier to tell if a sound is getting higher or lower-pitched (even for the musically-challenged like myself).
- Push button: acts as an interrupt that signifies opening the oven, thus alerting the user that something is wrong (like they left the oven open or someone else checked)
Further Development: With the servo, if I would have had fewer things to work on this weekend, you could also turn this system into a set of chimes so that you aren’t working with mechanical sounds as an output. You could string pieces of metal or glass or other things around the servo and they could hit each other to produce more delicate/harsh/whatever-kind-of-sound-you-want-for-your-home sounds.