If you ever wondered what words taste like, now you’re in luck. Misha Volodin from St. Petersburg, a 30-year-old music shop clerk by day, disc jockey ‘Morskoiboy’ by night, spent his after-work hours building a contraption that mixes cocktails by typing on a keyboard. Each key is a pump that pours one type of drink into your glass. Metro asked Misha how his machine works.
What is your creation, what does it do and how does it work?
It is a ‘robotic cocktail typewriting machine.’ Behind each of the letter key is a syringe pump, filled with your choice of liquid. When you press a key, its letter lights up on the screen. But instead of using liquid crystals as in other electronic displays, my machine’s display functions via multicoloured syrups and liquids. Yes, this machine converts words into cocktails.
Attached in the back of the keyboard, there are slots for the bottles with coloured beverages in them. There are 26 slots altogether, one for each letter of the Latin alphabet. When a syringe stem goes up, liquid is taken from the bottle connected to it. There are 136 tubules inside, equaling about 30 metres of tubes and pipes.
How do words taste like? For example, what does 'Metro' taste like?
Ha ha ha, well it ultimately depends what drinks you put under the keys. It could taste awful or (it could taste) brilliant. Let me think, mint-flavored liquor, a U.S. grain liquor named Everclear, tequila, rum and Old Pulteney, a famous Scottish malt whiskey. That’s sounds fantastic but I’m not sure about the taste.
I think one of the most difficult aspects is finding a drink that begins with a particular letter. You could be searching for some time to get the right one to fit the right letter.
How long did it take to construct it?
Rather quickly everything happened. From start to finish it took me less than two months to put together – and all the materials cost about $100. After work, I used my free time to put it together.
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What inspired you to make this machine?
I simply wanted to do something interesting. I can't say where I got this idea. It simply popped in my head. Many people could think of such inventions but for me I just found the will and effort to make it possible.
Do you intend to make more of these machines?
I made it as an artistic project and I have no intention to use it as a prototype to sell and manufacture other models. After folks saw my video about it on YouTube, I got quite a lot of requests from people asking if they could make one for them. Well, for the time being at least, I want to do other things!
Also, the machine has its drawbacks: sometimes in reality the cocktails are not tasty like you wished for. Plus, I’ve only used this a couple of times as it’s difficult to clean and wash.
Any other ideas in the pipeline?
Yeah, I’m thinking of constructing an alcohol-serving device in the shape of a shotgun – a perfect companion for a barman.