Vessel is a free public library of stainless steel mugs. Vessel keeps your drink hot or cold. We handle the hassle, you sip in style.

Vessel’s goal is to innovate a solution to the paper cup problem. 58 billion paper cups are landfilled annually in the US alone; this is 158 million paper cups everyday. At Vessel we combine a library style service with sophisticated tracking technology in order to eliminate the need for paper and plastic to-go cups as well as provide quantified-self information to consumers regarding the impact of their everyday choices.

*This project is on-going.

CEO explains what the Vessel is for.

Vessel project is now on Indiegogo! You can read more about the project and donate!

Tech Notes
– I’ve been working with them as a hardware/software engineer to support building the system and devices.
– The mug-library system is realized by utilizing NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. We attached a NFC tag to every mug and member card, and by scanning them with a NFC scanner, you can check-out or return a mug with your member card at any associated coffee shops.
– The scanner device consists of Raspberry Pi 3, NFC scanning module, LEDs for signal, and power cable. The RasPi takes care of reading NFC tags, controlling LEDs, and connecting to store wifi to store/read transaction data with our server.
– Every RasPi is accessible with ssh through the Internet so we can check its current/past state anytime anywhere.


How It Works

1. Sign up in a cafe or online through


2.Pick up your membership card at a participating cafe to start using Vessel


3. Order your beverage and request it be put in a Vessel mug.


4. Enjoy your beverage on the go in a Vessel that has been checked out to you!


5. Return your mug within 5 days to any of our participating locations and start over with a fresh one the next time you order a drink!



Fabrication Images

Ingredients. RasPi, power cable, LEDs, NFC scanner, and container.


Connect LEDs, power cable, and scanner to RasPi.


Set everything to its place.


Slide a plate to close the box.




Ready to go.


You can see a NFC tag at the mug’s back, too.


There are two types of scanners; check-in box and check-out box. The difference is number of LEDs.


Network diagram.


Cheat Sheet.


Previous prototype.


Previous prototype.

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