Monitoring a device with a microcontroller usually follows a well-worn path of diving inside and finding somewhere in the electrical circuitry that can be connected via some sort of interface to a microcontroller. For its Nespresso pod coffee machine, (Steadman) avoided tearing the device and instead opted to monitor the sound it makes. A basic sound threshold sensor board is connected to an Arduino MKR Zero, and this setup logs coffee consumption. Importantly, this generation of Arduino is no longer one of the simple boards of yore, but sports an RTC and SD card alongside its SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ processor, so it’s perfect for such a data logging project. Coffee data can be saved to a spreadsheet-viewable CSV file, for which a code is provided.
We like this project for its noninvasive simplicity, and we can see that there could be many other similar machines that could benefit from an analogous noninvasive monitoring technique. While Hackaday’s pages are full of coffee machine projects, we see surprisingly few pod coffee makers, perhaps because our readers are a savvy bunch who balk at paying a premium for their caffeine. If you own a Nespresso machine, you might like some help identifying the capsules.