World's First Tweet-to-Pay Soda Machine Built As Part of Tucson's Recent Make-a-thon at Maker House

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Tweeting the hashtag #azmakerhouse from anywhere in the world activates a credit for a free soda at Maker House in Tucson, Arizona. Someone in Hong Kong can buy a friend in Tucson a soda nearly instantly, with just one tweet.

The Tweet-a-Cola Team, clockwise from left, Steven Eiselen, Ocean Tenborg, Beau Graham, Ian Tracey, Andrew Prosch, Paul Hawkins (MH intern) and Matt "Ratchet" Rios, Maker House Program Manager.

As part of Tucson’s recent Make-a-Thon held on February 22, 2014, sponsored by Startup Tucson and hosted by Maker House, Xerocraft and CoLab, teams consisting of programmers, fabricators and makers of all types were challenged to build something both beautiful and functional.

Team "Tweet-a-Cola", whose members include Ian Tracey, Steven Eiselen, Ocean Tenborg, Beau Graham, Andrew Prosch, and Matt “Ratchet” Rios, Program Manager at Maker House, created a soda machine that goes beyond just being beautiful and functional; it is also social commentary.

The team repurposed an early 19080’s soda machine with an ethernet connected Raspberry Pi computer and internal speakers to create the social vending capability. By tying into the Twitter API, team Tweet-a-Cola generates a credit on the machine and triggers an audio “tweet” sound to let the end customer know that the machine is ready to dispense.

Tony Ford, COO of, sponsor of the soda machine project, says “This is more than just a tech project; it is social commentary on the fact that your personal data is sold every day by hundreds of companies. This project allows you to get something for your online persona. It’s a little bit of quid pro quo for the modern age.”

To see the soda machine in action, visit Maker House at 283 N Stone Ave. To buy someone a soda just send a tweet with the hashtag #azmakerhouse.

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Vanessa Ford

Vanessa Ford
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