Disclaimer: in this writer’s opinion, there is no way a mechanically made cake can taste quite as good as one made by hand. Cakes bought from a supermarket are delicious, but often miss a secret ingredient; familiarity with the person who made it, and appreciation for their skill.
But what if you knew the person who built the robot who made the cake?
YouTuber 52 Skillz (as the name suggests) spent a year trying to learn 52 new skills, which he vlogged. One that didn’t quite come off as planned was the construction of a cake-making robot, capable of cracking eggs, adding sugar, butter, and flour, and mixing a batter. Sure, it’s basically a food processor, even down to having to manually manage the measurements.
Oh, and the baking is left to humans.
But it soon became apparent that this wouldn’t be an easy project. As you’ll see in the video, the build was eventually completed (thanks to an Arduino-based Inventor’s Kit from SparkFun, servos and Actobotics framework from ServoCity, and components from RobotShop.com) but it took an immense 300 hours of work over the course of 1.5 years.
In this time, hardware issues were regularly experienced, proving far more difficult than the programming element. Watching the video will illustrate just how tough it was to finally get this project working, and we would encourage you to keep watching to the end. You see, as impressive as this build is, it could be one of the most important DIY videos you ever watch.
The sheer volume of obstacles that 52 Skillz encountered on the way to finally finishing this project is testament to his tenacity and confidence in the idea. But so many of us have projects that we’ve left hanging for months on end ... cluttering sheds, garages, lofts, or even kitchen tables. A little problem that has got in the way, frustratingly stopping us from putting ourselves in the right frame of mind to knuckle down, research and investigate the problem, and find a solution.
Watching 52 Skillz’s efforts with this project, I’m struck by his determination. We can all learn from this approach, even if it takes years to complete. Sure, someone else might be working on the same or similar idea and finish it first, but yours might be better.
And if it isn’t? Well, you still learned something from building it.