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This smart spice box makes cooking a breeze

Arduino TeamJune 19th, 2024

Many people shy away from cooking because they’re overwhelmed by all of the different steps and ingredients. Recipes are useful, but they aren’t very intuitive to those who are more comfortable with visual thinking. To help these people enjoy the cooking experience, Purdue University students Riddhi Gupta and Aarav Garg created a smart spice box.

This is a hexagonal spice storage box divided up into six individual compartments. Four buttons on the front of the spice box let the cook select a pre-programmed recipe. The edges of the corresponding compartments will then light up in green, indicating that they’re necessary for the recipe. For example, a tikka masala chicken marinade recipe might illuminate turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and garam masala. 

An Arduino UNO Rev3 board makes this possible. It monitors the buttons to determine which recipe was chosen, then triggers the appropriate RGB LED strips to guide the user as they prepare the meal.

These components fit inside a 3D-printed hexagonal enclosure that Gupta and Garg designed in Autodesk Fusion 360. In theory, the Arduino sketch can support up to 999 different recipes. The user must enter each recipe’s spice combination within that sketch. After that, they just tap the buttons to enter the recipe’s identification number and the proper spice containers will light up.