Our current president tweets like a madman. He mocks people, insults our allies, spreads conspiracy theories, and often just blasts out nonsensical rants. I built this machine as a personal project to bring to life the feeling of living with this madness. It spits out one ibuprofen pill every time the president tweets. The more he tweets, the more pills end up in the bowl.
A script running on a laptop constantly scans twitter to see if the president has posted a new tweet on @realDonaldTrump. As soon as a new tweet appears, a command is sent to the microcontroller and a small motor turns 360 degrees, dispensing a pill which falls out of the mouth and into the bowl.
These labs on serial communication and serial input from Tom Igoe at NYU ITP were very helpful. After a much simpler earlier design proved unreliable, I based the pill dispensing mechanism on this prototype posted by Frank Charbonier.