Electrobar not pretty, but it does the job

A can of pressurized carbon dioxide, a laptop computer and a series of pumps and hoses. Not terribly high tech, but good enough to whip up a cocktail to your specifications.

The device is the Electrobar, invented by Chris Yahn, 22, of Wheeling, WVA.

What started as a senior thesis project for Wheeling native Chris Yahn could become a replacement for the neighborhood bartender.

Yahn created the machine last year, his final at DeVry University in Columbus, OH. He recently picked up $10,000 by winning an entrepreneurial contest sponsored by West Virginia University, not bad for a $1,600 investment he now hopes will make him wealthy.

Yahn said the project required about three months of programming. He estimates about 50 hours went into creation of the machine's prototype.

"I pretty much took all the initiative," Yahn told the Charleston Daily Mail newspaper."I did all design work, all programming, all the electrical design."

A Dell laptop computer inside the cabinet stores the drink information. An operator uses the computer monitor atop the cabinet to send signals to the control board. The liquid comes out of a spigot attached to the machine's top, putting the precise amounts of ingredients in the cup. The pressurized carbon dioxide controls the flow of alcohol through the pumps and hoses. All the ingredients are poured in simultaneously.

"Basically, all the person has to do is put ice in the cup," Yahn said. "The machine does the rest."

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