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CSU and CWRU students team up with rp+m to build drink-mixing robot using 3-D printers

Meet Bar2D2. He never went to war a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But he can mix a drink for you.

Luke Louder, an electrical engineering student at Cleveland State University’s Washkewicz College of Engineering, designed the robot’s electronics and software.

“It was a cool project because it involved electrical as well as mechanical components,” Louder told ENGAGED. “Incorporating all those elements posed some very interesting engineering challenges.”

Bar2D2 dispenses alcoholic drinks. His storage tanks hold four different beverages, which he can be programmed to mix in various combinations. He also turns his head, whistles and beeps.

The droid took four months to build. Louder and a small team of students from Case Western Reserve University created Bar2D2 with the help of rp+m, a leading additive manufacturing company based in Avon Lake, Ohio. Louder recently completed an internship there.

With the exception of storage tanks and a few tubes, all of the robot’s parts were fabricated with 3-D printers.

Bar2D2 had his coming-out party at RAPID 2014, a conference and exhibition dedicated to additive manufacturing and 3-D printing, held in June in Detroit. He mixed drinks for hundreds of attendees, who waited in long lines to check out the droid. He was "the most popular little guy at the show," according to IndustryWeek magazine.

Getting him ready for his big debut involved long hours of work for Louder, who hopes to pursue a career in software engineering after he graduates from CSU.

Bar2D2 should look great on Louder’s résumé, right?

“It’s certainly a conversation starter,” he said.

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