Chug Meter with Force Sensing Resistor (FSR)
Blog teamJune 9, 2017

Most of us would agree that there are few pleasures in life that beat grabbing a nice cold pint with friends at the end of a long day. And what's an evening of relaxation without a bit of friendly competition? Today's project will be using an Arduino platform hooked up to force sensing resistor to help put an end to that important age-old pub debate... the question of who among your group of friends can chug a beer the fastest. This fun little project can revolutionize your drinking games (just be careful not to get it wet though!).

Read on to learn how you can build your very own force sensing chug meter.

Putting it together

The basic circuit consists of the Arduino platform paired to a force sensing resistor, a switch to toggle power, a basic digital 7-Segment Serial Display to show the time and speaker to provide audio feedback when you when you pick up your glass (starting the timer) and put your glass back down (stopping the timer). You'll also need a power source to run your build, in this example we've used a 9-volt battery.


You can check out a pre-arranged build and also make your own modifications using our tool here. Once you're ready to get started , hit generate for instructions on how to put the circuit together. Once everything is set up, connect your force sensing resistor to a coaster (no need to be fancy, just taping it to the coaster will do. Place your beer (or your drink of choice) on the coaster and power up the circuit and now you're all set to break records with the fastest chug in history. As soon as you pick up your glass the timer will start running, just remember that the timer will keep running till the glass is placed back on the coaster so don't celebrate your victory till the glass is down.

This is a pretty simple project to put together and is an ideal build for beginners to learn how to set up a basic circuit and get it up and running. Since the build only requires a pressure switch paired to a digital display to show the time, assembly is uncomplicated and even the coding is required is particularly demanding either.

Customize it

There are a lot of things you can do to make your chug meter more interesting or more functional if you're willing to put a bit more time and effort into it. For example if you're somewhere loud, you could replace the speaker with an LED to show when the timer is active. Or you could attach additional timer displays to track multiple attempts or have a second display with the 'current best' time on it. This would need a little more in the way of coding to store multiple results and/or display the best result on a designated display so you can compare the best time with the current attempt.

You could also replace your timer panels with full LCD displays allowing you to create a better-looking timer or maybe play some graphics when a record gets broken; though you will probably need a stronger power source if multiple LCD screens are getting involved.

Or if you're feeling confident and interested in going 'all out' maybe you could create a system to make sure boat races are held fairly. Though you'd need to modify the rules a bit to have people put their cup on their coaster instead of keeping it on their head. You could create a system which connected multiple force sensing resistors in a sequence so that only one glass can from each team can be raised of the coasters at any time.

Alternative applications

While the force sensing resistors used in this project aren't really accurate enough to be used for roles like weighing objects, there are a number of projects you could attempt that make use of these resistors such as creating simple touch sensitive panels that could be used as switches to operate any other device. Combining this with wireless receivers on both ends via Bluetooth or infrared could theoretically allow you to create simple remote control systems for any device. (This is a fairly complex build however and is best left to advanced or expert builders)


What will you create?

We hope you and your friends enjoyed playing with this build and that the King (Or Queen) of drink chugging has finally been crowned. Did you try this project? We'd love to hear about it! Let us know what you thought of it or tell us about any cool modifications you made to the design and what you did with it. Why not share some images or videos of your build with the rest of the community, or even instructions on how to put together your awesome customized build.