After Graduation

illustrations illustrations

Introduction of Another Story

At the final presentation, Niel commented, "Don't you need another robot to fill sake into the vessel?"
Being inspired by the comment,I made Dozo Plus, the additional refilling machine.
Fortunately I was selected as the finalist of Mouser Electronics DIY contest 2021 and they gave me a chance to purchase necessary electronic parts to improve my machine. The improved version was showed at CEATEC 2021(Japan's IT and electronics exhibition) and got grand prix.

This experience gave me the confidence. In the beginning of Fab Academy, I was always not confident by my background which is not related to "making" or "engineering" and less knowledges.But after amazing 20 weeks, it changed my life…!
After this, I have kept updating Dozo-Dozo at every opportunity of exhibitions.
In total I made four models so far, this is the record for those challenges!

*Special Thanks to my great instructor Yuichi Tamiya.
Even though I’ve already graduated from Fab Academy and now become a instructor, he gave me lots of advice and help. Thank you so much for all supports and sorry for never stopping to be your student!😂

1.Dozo-Dozo 2.Dozo Plus 3.Dozo Mash 4.Dozo SICF
Fab Academy Final Project For Mouser Electronics DIY contest 2021 For Mash Records(an event at live music bar) For SICF23(the open-call contemporary art exhibition)
  • Loadcells to detect the weight
  • Two servo motors to move the arm
  • Filling system with peristaltic pump
  • I2C communication.
  • MP3 module and neopixcels.
  • Focus on the practicality at the actual party scene
  • Peristaltic pump and tube inside the bamboo
  • Pouring the exact same amount of sake
  • Design-centric structure
  • Unity of colors and materials
  • High finishing quality by using Shaper

  • Please click the images for the details of each project.


    This is an original version of the Fab Academy final project.


    -Load cell to detect the weight of sake in the cup
    -Two servo motors to rotate and lean the arm to pour sake.

    Please refer here for the details.

    2.Dozo Plus

    This is the model for Mouser Electronics DIY contest 2021.
    I improved the problem of the original verision which is "running out of sake!" since bamboo vessel can store only 5oz of sake.
    So I decided to make Dozo Plus, the additional refilling machine for the original version.


    - Filling system using a peristaltic pump to add sake to a sake vessel when it’s running out.
    - I2C communication with the main system.
    - Sound function and neopixcels for fun.



    To detect the amount of sake in the vessel, I adjusted the original program. By keeping the amount of sake poured in one time constant, I can figure out the right timing which the vassel become empty.
    Once it happens, ATTiny3216 of the main machine will send the information to Arduino Uno of Dozo-Plus by I2C communications.

    At first, I considered using Non-contact Liquid Level Sensor. It was a nice product which can detect the liquid level without touching its surface. Unfortunatelly it didn’t work for my project, because of the bamboo’s characteristic to absorb the moisuture easily and the sensor detects it even if the inside is empty.


    As ATTiny3216 sends the information that the vessel is empty to Arduino Uno by I2C communications, the peristaltic pump will run to fill sake into the container till the certain amount.
    Two tubes are attached to the pump, one side goes into the sake bottle to draw in sake,and another side goes into the sake container to pour sake.

    *About Peristaltic Pump

    The pump is basically a geared down DC motor, so it has a lot of torque. Inside the pump is a 'clover' pattern of rollers. As the motor turns, the clover presses on the tube to press the fluid though. The pump does not need to be primed and in fact can self-prime itself with water a half meter with ease. You can PWM the motor to speed up or slow down the flow rate and if you connect the motor the other way it will move fluid the other direction.


    ■Other Functions

    During Fab Academy, I was fascinated by beautiful projects using neopixel and wanted to try it, but didn't have time.Finally I could try this time and enjoyed playing with it!
    Neopixels are placed under the sake bottle and will turn on while the peristaltic pump is working and filling sake, and shine through the glass of sake bottle.

    (2)MP3 Module

    It takes about 1 minite to fill the sake into the vassel. While waiting for it, the MP3 module will play Japanese traditional music to make the users have fun.
    "Dozo Dozo", the name of my automatic sake pouring machine ( the original version ) means "Here you are " or "Go ahead" in Japanese.We use this phrase so much when we pour sake to another person to encourage them to have a drink. So I also added this words in three languages(English,Japanese,and Chinese) at the timing of sake pouring.

    ■PCB Board

    I usedArduino Uno R3 for the microcontroller board, and designed and milled the add-in board. Those two boards are perfectly matched as two storied boards because I downloaded and used the EAGLE library for Arduino Uno R3.
    Also a small boar


    I made the box with wood using Shaper Origin and the laser cutter. The box can contain all the PCB boards, wires, a neopixel, a speaker, and a sake bottole(720ml). I used an acrylic board partly so that the users can enjoy watching some interesting parts such as shining light going through the sake bottle from the neopixel underneath. On the otherhand, some messy parts such as wires are covered with wood.


    1. Three load cells detect the weights of sake in each cup.
    2.The first servo motor moves to the front of the appropriate cup.
    3.The second servo motor moves to lean the bamboo bottle. It will move more slowly in the last 10 degrees so that sake won’t be spilled.(But it’s so hard…….)
    4.Once sake in the bamboo bottle becomes empty, the master board sends the signals to the secondary board with I2C communication. By the signal,the peristaltic pump will move for 60 seconds so that 100ml of sake will be refilled into the bamboo bottle.
    5 .During the waiting time, traditional Japanese music will be played by the MP3 module and the neo pixel will be turned on..

    Program for master board(ATTiny3216)
    Program for secondary board(Arduino Uno)


    -To control the amount of sake for each pour is the hardest thing… There is a time lag between the measurement of the weights by the loadcells and the suspension of the servo motors.
    - Sometimes sake will be spilled….
    -It’s difficult to place the spout of the refilling system to the correct position of the bamboo bottle all the time


    BOM for Dozo Plus is here!


    3.Dozo Mash

    I got the chance to present and actually use the machine with filling sake inside at the event at the live music bar.
    The name of the bar is “Mash Records”, so I named this version “Dozo Mash”.


    - Focus on the practicality at the actual party scene
    - Using the peristaltic pump hidden in a bamboo bottle to pour sake into the cup, so that pouring the exact same amount of sake without any spilling.


    1. Three load cells detect the weights of sake in each cup.
    2. The first servo motor moves to the front of the appropriate cup, and the second servo motor moves to lean the bamboo and be close to the cup.
    3. The master board sends the signals to the secondary board with I2C communication. By the signal, the peristaltic pump will move for 12 seconds so that 20ml of sake will be poured into the cup . During the waiting time, traditional Japanese music will be played by the MP3 module.
    4. Once pouring is done, you will hear one of the three kinds of the voice saying “Dozo-Dozo”(meaning “here you are”) in three languages, Japanese, English and Chinese.
    5. The arm will be moved to the original position.
    Program for Dozo Mash(Master board)
    Program for Dozo Mash(Secondary board)


    -The problem on the accuracy of the amount of sake is solved, but I feel like the original version( the sake in the bamboo bottle will be poured directly) is a more interesting system and it is closer to actual “pouring action”.
    -To contain the tube of the peristaltic pump I made the cover of the arm by the MDF, however I liked the original version (covered by the natural bamboo) better.

    4.Dozo SICF

    Spiral Independent Creators Festival (SICF) is the open-call exhibition for various kinds of contemporary arts.
    Since it’s an art event, I focused on the finishing quality of an appearance of the machine more than anytime.


    - Design-centric structure
    - Unity of colors and materials
    - High finishing quality of woods by using Shaper instead of a laser cutter so that I could keep the side of the wood with an original color.

    ■New Video


    Program for Dozo SICF

    Next Challenge

    This is just an idea yet, but here is the next thing I would like to challenge.
    I made this automatic sake pouring machine as the final project of the wonderful class named “How to make (almost) anything”. At the class, I was amazed by the possibility of digital fabrication and felt like I could make a wide range of things around me with it.
    Only thing I keep questioning to myself is “Does '(almost) anything' include the electronic power to run the things I made?” The power consumption is crucial to every machine we make, and I feel like it’s the only thing I don’t make by myself.
    Thus, I would like to challenge the project to run my machine Dozo-Dozo with the power I make on my own. I’m thinking of a bicycle dynamo or a solar panel for it and would like to do some performance at the event.

    Written by Natsuka Kamei 亀井 夏香