Touch-N-Fill™ - Automatic Water Filling for your Coffee Maker at a Touch of a Button.
It’s 5:15 am and, after I have continuously hit the snooze button for 15 minutes, I finally decide to roll out of bed. My overnight guest, Mr. Sandman, has not left, so a fresh cup of joe will do the trick and awaken him. In a semi-hypnotic trance, I make my way to the kitchen in the dark. Reaching for my k-cup and dropping it into my Keurig, I close the lid and then through my sand-filled eyelashes, I see the dreaded flashing blue light. It is much too early for hand-eye coordination and I have not yet stretched my arm muscles to even carry the water-filled container. I sadly have no other choice, but to subject myself to the same routine, morning after morning to re-fill the water container. Then, one morning I decided - Why not automate it? And this was how Touch-N-Fill™ was born.
What is it?
Touch-N-Fill™ is a system that fills the water reservoir on your coffee maker at a touch of a button. 100% awakening or alertness are not required. Check out TouchNFill.com for more information.
What are the goals of the project?
1. Provide a simple device that anyone can use. No special skills, certification, or degree required.
2. Create a device that is affordable.
3. Easy to install the device. No fancy tools are required, unless you consider a standard pair of household scissors as one.
How easy is it to use?
On a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult), Touch-N-Fill™ ease of use is a 0.5. When the water reservoir on your coffee maker is low on water or the Keurig is blinking the famous blue light, just push the fill button on the device and the reservoir is filled with water in less than a minute. Can it get any easier?
Notice that it automatically shuts off when the resevoir is full, but in case you accidently hit the fill button when the resevoir is already full, a stop button is provided to turn it off.
How much does Touch-N-FillTM cost?
If you are a lottery winner and would like to donate to our business, there is no limit to the cost. For the rest of us, it is just your pledged amount for one of two options: Touch-N-Fill™ device only or Touch-N-Fill™ device with an inline charcoal filter (makes great tasting water).
What comes with the Touch-N-FillTM System?
You get a water filling system that consists of a quick connect tee, automatic filling valve assembly, controller and 10' of flexible tubing that goes into your water reservoir. If you select the pledge with the filter than you will also get an inline charcoal filter.
How do you Install the System?
1. Turn off water valve behind refrigerator.
2. Using a pair of household sissors, cut the water line going to the refrigerator.
3. Insert tee into the water line.
4. Put the other end of the tubing in your water reservoir. See video below for demostration.
Estimated Production Fulfillment Plan
Order first production pcb, case and membrane switch - Done
Assemble first production unit and test - Done
Send out first 10 units to beta testers - Done
Make trip to china for 3 weeks to find and qualify suppliers - Done
Finalize Pricing of Materials - Done
Negotiate assembly contract - Done
Start Kickstarter Campaign - Done
Based on feedback from beta testers, make changes
Finalize injection molded case design
Finalize pcb design
Minimum kickstarter commitment reached
Place order for production pcbs
Place order for injection molded cases
Place order for membrane switch
Place orders for plumbing parts
Monitor assembly process and asses quality
Prepare everything for shipping
Ship rewards to backers
My Story of How the Touch-N-FillTM was Born
It all started one day when I was half asleep. I was getting my first cup of coffee and having to refill the water resevior on my Keurig. I was thinking what a pain it is to constantly refill this thing. Everything else is automatic so why don't I automate the process.
I went over to my desk and created the first breadboard design.
Then I realized other people might want one too. So I worked out another breadboard design that would be more cost effective to build. It would also incorporate a membrane switch which would give it the nice look and feel.
This breadboard sat by my Keurig for quite some time reliably filling the water tank everytime. I then proceeded to make the first pcb by hand.
Next I needed to put the design into the smallest case possible with a membrane switch interface so I created this prototype.
Then I finally got to the production PCB
I didn't do a good job of searching for Trademarks based on the name AquaFill so I had to change the name to Touch-N-Fill™ at the last minute so you will see the old AquaFill name on the prototypes.
Who I AM - My Background
I have been building custom electronic circuits for over 24 years and have won 3 contests so far for my work.
2nd Place Renesas RL78 Green Energy Design Contest - Cloud Electrofusion Machine - Renesas - August 2012
In this contest an electrofusion machine for welding ½” to 2” polyethylene fittings was created for under $175. In comparison, the price of a commercial electrofusion machine is around $4,000. This machine uses approximately 400 times less energy than the conventional butt welding machine.
3rd Place Microchip 16-bit Embedded Control Design Contest - FFT Double Beam Infra-Red Spectrophotometer
A 1954 Perkin Elmer 337 spectrometer was utilized for its optical components to demonstrate the ability of Microchip’s High-Performance, 16-Bit Digital Signal Controllers. A DSPIC30F4012 microcontroller was used to control the spectrometer These low cost microcontrollers are very easy to use and have a wealth of resources and peripherals available. In this project the following resources and peripherals were used: DSP Processor (FFT), 10-bit A/D Converter, Quadrature Encoder Interface, Motor Control PWM module and UART module.
3rd Place - Renesas RX Design Contest - Cloud News Reader -Renesas - May 2011
The concept is a wireless headphone that plays the latest news headlines to you. This device is designed to be utilized in a hands-free manner, such as while you are exercising or someone that is blind.
Interview with Circuit Cellar about entrepreneurship and how I got started in electronics: