To start with I’m doing some research on the PSoC 4, it looks like it is pretty flexible. I've installed Creator, starting up shouldn't take too long since I’m already familiar with C, and several circuit board layout programs. Since this is an analog and digital device it uses a combination of both, the use of discrete components which can be schematically combined into a real circuit is new to me and has some very interesting potential. The development environment looks like it has a well thought out work flow. I’ll have to get the actual device before I can really try it out. The application note on getting started can be found here. I've started learning about the array of built in features which is huge. There are a lot of useful application notes, here’s a few that are relevant this project:
And some examples
I've started thinking about design requirements. The machine should be quiet since it will be near people who are working. This means any motors or pumps used should not make much noise. The key features are the ability to take coffee orders by email and prepare them fresh ground. When I was talking to a coworker about this project she mentioned that a system to move the cups would be useful, since more than one person could place a remote order. I’m picturing something like a carousel that can move the cups under the brewing spout, and if one is present, under the steamer nozzle and the sweetener and cream dispensers. That way I would get the movement to different stations and the ability to fill and hold multiple orders in one add on.
There are thousands of features I could add of course, so next I'll be doing some concept sketching and researching available components including the myriad of coffee makers available to start with.