Jeremy S. Cook


Spilling wine is generally a bad thing; however, if you’re not the person who has to clean it up, such a faux pas does make interesting patterns. This was the thinking of marketing firm KPS3 as they developed the “Santa Maria Swirl Machine,” which swirls wine in a normally-unreasonable manner, then flings it onto paper to make artwork.

The Swirl Machine lets you produce your own wine art online using Raspberry Pi and Arduino. (📷: KPS3)

The process is live streamed using a rig with a Raspberry Pi 3B+ along with a Pi 4 and two cameras, and employs a third to take a photo of the art itself. An Arduino Micro is also used in the art creation process, where a piece of paper is first picked up out of a stack using a suction device, and moved into place with a linear actuator. A generous portion of wine is then poured into a glass inside the “spill chamber” where it’s spun at a high rate of speed until it’s pushed with quite a bit of force toward the paper. Wine then splatters onto it, creating a unique picture.

According to TechRepublic:

The website is a single-page React.js app stored in S3, served via CloudFront, with the platform running on a MySQL and Redis database, with a Node.js/Koa REST API server that communicates with an API worker that manages the queue and communicates with the machine through gRPC. A Lambda media worker is used for image processing, and Mux.com is used for live streaming the video captured on the Raspberry Pi 3B+.

Since everything is automated and viewable over the Internet, you don’t even have to be present to make this wine artwork; presumably someone else even cleans the spill chamber. Sign up here to give it a try yourself!



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