I like coffee
. I like open-source software and hardware. I like the idea of having an over-engineered geeky commercial-quality espresso machine that I and a community can hack. So I found this kickstarter campaign to be sufficiently intriguing to warrant a buy. I mention it here because it’s interesting and because it ends in just a few days.
PID-Controlled Espresso Machine
The reward for investing $300 in this kickstarter project is a v0.2 model of this as yet non-extant espresso machine. It’s supposed to ship in December 2012, which for me will make it a nice surprise Hannukah present as I’ll likely have forgotten it’s enroute.
$300 sounds steep, but this machine includes a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller to regulate temperature and pressure throughout a shot of espresso’s “pull”, with the aim of producing a noticeably better result. Commercial home machines that include a PID controller tend to start around $700. Many people modify cheaper home espresso machines to add a PID controller, and kits for that modification appear to cost about $2-300.
Kickstarter is fascinating to me. People post the project for which they’d like to raise money, list various reward levels, and other people on the net are invited to invest in it for a limited time. It’s a way for engineers with an idea to raise enough funds to rent space and start up manufacturing. The reward for backing a projects that are manufactured is often a discounted price on an early version of the product. Several successful products have already been funded via this mechanism, the most famous so far being the LunaTik watch.