A DIY Microwave Hack Downloads Cooking Instructions From Barcodes

Raspberry Pi Microwave

Nathan Broadbent

For when microwaving isn’t easy enough.

Inspired by a Reddit post suggesting food products carry QR codes that would allow a microwave to automatically follow cooking instructions specific to that food, developer Nathan Broadbent decided he could hack a better microwave, one that could download and carry out different instructions on power levels, cook times and stirring intervals.

Using Raspberry Pi, a compact single-board computer, he programmed his microwave to respond to voice commands and iPad controls, and even more conveniently, to instructions pulled from a quick barcode scan. He gave it a new touchpad, new sounds, an automatic-updating clock and a web page that allows him to control it using his phone.

There weren’t any online databases out there that contained instructions the microwave could pull to know how to cook, for example, a Jimmy Dean sausage, egg and cheese croissant–so Broadbent created one.

And since he went to the trouble to program his microwave to do all these fun things with Raspberry Pi, of course he had to use it to make raspberry pie.

Broadbent details his full process over on his blog, if you’re interested in giving it a whirl. Or you could just buy barcode scanning microwave. But it wouldn’t be able to tweet for you like this one–and everyone knows if you didn’t tweet it, you didn’t eat it.


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