Blog Home

This interactive machine makes art out of wine

Arduino TeamSeptember 23rd, 2019

Spilled wine may be a hassle to clean up, but you might also observe that it makes interesting patterns. Marketing firm KPS3 had the same kind of thinking when they designed the web-controlled “Swirl Machine” to promote the Santa Maria Valley wine industry.

The machine takes the form of a tabletop display, where a vacuum gripper first picks up a piece of paper and transports it into a clear “swirl area.” A glass is then automatically filled with wine, spun up to speed, and flung at the paper in order to create art. 

Hardware includes an Arduino Micro and a pair of Raspberry Pi boards, along with cameras used to stream the process and take a picture of the end result. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, sign up here. You can also read more about the project on TechRepublic:

Visitors to the website can watch the current splash art being made, or register to join the queue to use the service—once their turn arrives, they are given a full-screen view and options to control their creation. Specialized watercolor paper is picked up by a servo equipped with a suction cup attached to a venturi (itself attached to an air compressor), which proceeds to hand off to a custom gripper to hold the paper in place for the wine to be spilled. 

From there, the Arduino-controlled stepper motor turns the lead screw, moving the paper into the splash zone, and fills the glass to the user-selected level, and begins to swirl the glass at the user-selected speed. Once the proper speed is attained, an actuator tips the glass forward, spilling the wine onto the paper. All of this is streamed by two cameras, with the final result photographed by a third. This photo is then processed in Lambda to clean up the photograph, detecting corners, applying filters and branding for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.