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October 04, 2018
Meet Mixy, the Accenture AI mixologist
By: Brenna Belletti

Mixy is our AWS-driven, cloud native-infused mixologist. Mixy serves a variety of mixed drinks and can handle a multitude of liquids from juice to carbonated beverages to thick syrups. Originally created in just a few short weeks as part of a rapid prototyping effort for re:Invent 2017, it leverages as many AWS native services as possible to showcase the integration of cloud with physical devices.

We first got involved with Mixy after re:Invent 2017. Our goal was to extend Mixy past the initial proof-of-concept stage, build a more robust user experience and industrialize Mixy for cross-country and global travel. Requests for Mixy were rolling in from across the world and someone needed to make improvements to create a globally supported demo.

This is where Altitude came in, a design and innovation firm acquired by Accenture in 2017. After listening to various concerns, from cleaning to transportation and general usability, the team went to work creating a Mixy 2.0 that would keep the user at the center of the experience.

Mixy underwent a transformation: this included more 3D-printed parts, like custom bottle lids to minimize leaking and allow for a variety of liquids with different consistencies and levels of carbonation. Everything had to be very carefully selected to be food safe, as well as being easy to fix or replace in case Mixy broke while far from home.


Mixy underwent a transformation: this included more 3D-printed parts, like custom bottle lids to minimize leaking and allow for a variety of liquids with different consistencies and levels of carbonation.

 
 

This redesign means we can now take Mixy to events across the world, from San Francisco to Paris. And thanks to the excitement and buzz around our AWS-driven mixologist, we’ve been able to create ten in total, spread out around the globe.

While the design of Mixy has obviously been an important factor, this globalization has also been enabled by the choices we made regarding the AWS services. Our heavy reliance on AWS native and managed services has allowed us to scale easily without making any changes to the code. All ten Mixys can be run across the world at the same time without any issues.


How it works

Leveraging the power of AWS, we’ve created a device that can mix a drink from anywhere in the world with a single request to Alexa. You just say “Alexa, tell Mixy to make me a….” and AWS handles the rest.

When you launch Mixy, AWS Rekognition captures your face and saves your order for the next round. Our AWS Lambda function passes whatever drink has been ordered to AWS IoT to publish the message to a Raspberry Pi. That tells the Arduino platform which pumps to run to make your drink.

If you prefer not to use Alexa, we also provide a menu as a single page application hosted on AWS S3. The architecture diagram, shown below, sets out the full list of services we’re leveraging for Mixy.

Thanks to Mixy, I’ve had the opportunity to meet all kinds of people: from CEOs of large companies to small children who are fascinated by the fun colors and lights. Mixy resonates with everyone for different reasons and I get asked all kinds of questions: some people tell me what it’s been like to welcome Alexa into the home, others ask how to get a Mixy of their own (I tell them they can build one themselves!), and others want to find out what rapid prototyping and Amazon Web Services could mean for their business. The answer to that? With a dash of imagination, the possibilities are endless.

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