“One day I had this funny idea, and I thought, ‘Well, there’s really nothing stopping me,'” Morskoiboy recalls on his blog. “At first it was just for fun. But then . . . then I drew up a sketch. And then another one. I started tinkering around and, to make a long story short, there came a point when I realized that, for the first time in my life, I was going to build something with my own two hands.” That could describe the experience of just about any DIY designer. What’s unusual is the weirdly amazing invention Morskoiboy decided to make: A Rube Goldberg contraption that uses a typewriter keyboard, an “electronic display,” and a network of syringes to mix cocktails. “After a couple months of fine-tuning the communication vessels,” he writes, “I became the sole owner in the world of such a strange piece of work.” Indeed.
How does it work? At the top of the machine, there’s a slot for screwing in a bottle of clear booze. “The essence of the art here lies in the ability of the syrups or liqueurs to tint the neutral color of the liquid,” Morskoiboy says. A drugstore-bought IV rate regulator acts like an on/off switch, opening and closing the airflow to the bottle. Once the alcohol starts flowing, it travels into 14 tubules, each connected to one of 14 display segments. Every key is a syringe, which works like a pump to draw its designated colored syrup through a tube and into a splitter at the backside of the display, where it is separated into the segments needed to form the corresponding character. The concoction then flows out of a spout. In total, Morskoiboy used 136 tubes.
Can’t visualize all that? Luckily, there’s a video.