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Becky Stern’s machine brings the NYC hot dog experience to you

Arduino TeamDecember 24th, 2021

For her gift to Colin Furze as a participant in this year’s YouTube Makers Secret Santa event, Becky Stern opted to bring the street food of New York City in the form of a mostly automatic hot dog dressing machine. It was designed with the intention of letting a user set down a hot dog at the top of a small roller ramp and then have it slide along as it gets covered in various authentic toppings. 

An Arduino Uno is responsible for controlling all three servo motors via a single PCA9685 driver module and the attached Adafruit Sound Board, which is loaded with sounds that Stern recorded around Manhattan. A separate Adafruit Pro Trinket sits at the base and sends commands to an RGB LED matrix in order to scroll text across the display. 

There are two servos dedicated to the task of dispensing mustard from a squeeze bottle, as one applies pressure with a pull while the other shakes violently to produce a messy drizzle. At the end of the rollers is a much simpler configuration, which has a servo motor that turns 90 degrees to dump an onion sauce mixture over the hot dog. 

After producing a few more decorations for her mini-NYC hot dog cart, Stern shipped her creation across the pond to Furze where he got to test it for himself, as seen at the 8:50 timestamp in his video. You can view the process of making this project in more detail here on Instructables or by watching Sterns video below!