It was highlighted on the element14.com website, and is the work of one Nathan Broadbent. He was inspired by a post on Reddit, titled: Food items should have QR codes that instruct the microwave exactly what to do. Like high for 2 minutes, let stand 1 minute, medium 1 minutes...
He took this as a challenge, and - armed with a Raspberry Pi - went to work (the original and new touchpad overlays are pictured right).
But what can a Pi can bring to electromagnetic radiation-based cooking? Well, added features of the "Picrowave" that he lists include:
- Re-designed touchpad
- Nicer sounds
- Clock is automatically updated from the internet
- Can be controlled with voice commands
- Can use a barcode scanner to look up cooking instructions from an online database
- There weren’t any online microwave cooking databases around, so I made one: http://microwavecookingdb.com
- The microwave has a web page so you can control it from your phone (why not), and set up cooking instructions for products
- Tweets after it’s finished cooking something (See https://twitter.com/rbmicrowave)
Check it out in action below:
Also, do see his website, the Raspberry Pi Microwave section. There is a lot of detailed information, including a look at the PCB, how he dealt with the old touchpad overlay, his management of registeers, using the WiringPi library, and much more...
For example, Nathan writes:
I used shift registers and optocouplers to control the touchpad pins. To listen for touchpad presses, an output shift register scans one line at a time on the first touchpad layer, and an input shift register listens for connections to the second layer.
I unsoldered the touchpad connector from the original circuit board, and replaced it with a row of pin headers. I then used the original touchpad connector on my PCB, so that my circuit acts as a kind of proxy for button presses.
He has also made all the software running on the Raspberry Pi available on GitHub. You can find it at: https://github.com/ndbroadbent/raspberry_picrowave.