Beer Can Keyboard Recipe: Raspberry Pi, Arduino & 44 Beer Cans

By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 18, 2012 10:35 AM EDT

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Various companies have created all sorts of keyboards, one more advanced than the other, but this one is quite unique: it's a beer can keyboard.

While this device may not last for long around lager lovers, the concept stirred plenty of interest. The beer keyboard was made using an Arduino single-board micro-controller, a Raspberry Pi mini PC, and many cans of Staropramen beer - about 44 of them.

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It was introduced at the recent Webstock conference in Bucharest, Romania. As one may easily guess, the event was sponsored by Prague-based brewery Staropramen. The beer keyboard is a very simple concept that appealed to the drinking masses particularly for its simplicity.

Instead of normal keys, the novelty QWERTY keyboard has 44 beer cans. As with any keyboard, the user simply has to press a key, in this case a beer can, and the corresponding letter will turn up on a connected display powered by the Arduino board and the Raspberry Pi mini PC. Attendees at the Webstock conference used the beer keyboard to input their email addresses to enter a competition.

According to Robofun Create, the group behind this novelty keyboard, the gadget can be plugged into any laptop or computer, though most people would likely prefer to let it cool down in the refrigerator.

"We did this at Webstock, event which took place in Bucharest in September. Staropramen, one of the sponsors of the event, asked up for an innovative way to offer a trip to Prague to one of the event's guests," explained Robofun Create. "So, we came up with a keyboard made out of 44 Staropramen beer cans. Each beer can was a key, and whenever someone touched it, the corresponding letter appeared on a large plasma screen (just like any regular computer keyboard)."

Among other things, the group is also responsible for an equally intriguing beer piano, as well as a laser harp. On its Web site, Robofun Create says it is dedicated to making "the kind of technology you cannot buy in shops."

Surely plenty of people would be interested in such a purchase if the beer can keyboard were to go on sale in shops. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see the sentences written with such a keyboard once the keys start to go missing...

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