March 21, 2016by Hollie Wegman ・ Office Hacks

Office Hack #4 — The Robotic Sales Gong

Envoy is all about making things easier and more fun in the office. In that spirit, we are proud to bring you our new Envoy Office Hacks podcast series. Every week, we deliver the coolest, most ingenious, and just plain fun fixes people have invented to improve efficiency and productivity in their workplace.

Today’s Envoy office hack is all about uniting the office and sharing wins with the whole team. And it’s from our own office, here at Envoy, where we get excited every time we sign up a new customer. So excited, that we like to celebrate with a bang. Or more accurately, by ringing a gong. But we don’t have your ordinary, run of the mill gong. We’ve got a custom job.

It was created by Wells Riley, a product designer here at Envoy. When Wells joined the company there was a lovely sales gong, the problem was that no one used it, they felt weird going up and ringing it themselves. So one day Wells took the gong home. He grabbed a Raspberry Pi computer out of drawer of electronics, hooked a motor up to it and wrote some code so that the gong rings itself every time Envoy makes a sale.

The new automated gong was such a success that there’s now a ritual in the Envoy office where every time that it rings, everyone in the office says “yay” in the most un-enthusiastic tone possible.

And it turns out the gong is more than a cool gadget. It’s geeky way to make sales exciting in an engineering driven company.

Wells says the hardest part was working with the motor. It turns out servo motors are complicated. It took some tinkering and smoke before it worked correctly and not hit the gong too hard or send the mallet flying across the room.


How to hack it

Thankfully Wells is ready to share what be learned so that you too can have your own sales gong in your office.

All the materials used can be found easily online for around $100. Surprisingly the gong is the most expensive part.

Ingredients

Recipe

We’ve written full, in-depth instructions on Hackster and the complete source-code we use on the RaspberryPi is up on Github.

Our fritzing document outlining the board layout.


Listen & Subscribe

You can listen to the full Robotic Sales Gong Office Hack podcast here. Please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes — just click here and hit ‘subscribe’