Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Automation of Halloween Candy Distribution. Anyone conquer this?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Automation of Halloween Candy Distribution. Anyone conquer this?

    Got a good start on Halloween automation, but the one thing I have always wished I could do was automate candy distribution. Everything I have tried or planned or imagined was either too klugie, too inaccurate or just too dangerous! Has anyone tried to tackle this? ….or maybe something similar that could be used for this?

    There's still three weeks left!!!
    .

  • #2
    To make that work properly will require AI of sorts.

    The actual distribution isn't that difficult, as you can examine any vending or candy-machine dispenser for ideas. The vending machine auger system would probably be easiest to replicate (depending on type of candy) with a small step-motor driving it, easy to control via Arduino, which you can then activate via HomeSeer based on motion sensor triggers, doorbell "Feed Me" button, or maybe pressure plate.

    Problem is figuring out how to dispense one unit for each person when two or more show up simultaneously, and what about excluding parents accompanying. Forcing them through a single line of sorts might solve that with a chute of sorts to deliver candy in their basket, but be sure to offer a catch-basin of sorts below chute, so candy doesn't fall on ground if they don't understand system (additional sensors might work with red/green light feedback).

    Then all that's left is adding facial recognition to ensure one crafty kid doesn't empty out your supply

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's some links to get you going:

      Arduino stepper kit @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSC52SL

      Auger from ice maker dispenser @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07799M49S

      Instead of auger you could go with like a conveyer/feeding belt. Something like: https://youtu.be/EOPCZhKGPLA

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmmm. I may have to rethink my auger method from years ago. It worked for jelly beans in the bench test, but sucked up the wrappers for mini candy bars and jammed a lot. A stronger motor just made things worse. I really needed a better auger system.

        It's not going to be autonomous. I'm just tired of handing out candy when I could be outside scaring kiddos that try to take more!

        Thanks for the ideas! It has got me thinking again.....
        .

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by outbackrob View Post
          Thanks for the ideas! It has got me thinking again.....
          Not sure what your budget is, but they got some cheap programmable robot kits these days.

          I could see something like this work: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FKTTF7

          Might take you a week to write a script for it though where it rotates back, drives towards a somewhat difficult to reach location holding the candy, grabs some candy, and then reverses itself back to dispense in a tray for the trick-or-treaters to grab their treats.

          Of course if your budget is high, maybe Honda will let you rent Asimo -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmglbk_Op64 (also scare kids to a new level with robot chasing them down the street at 9 km/hr hahaha)

          PS: Got my first go at being an actor in a haunted forest attraction last weekend, and boy was it fun to scare the visitors (lot of gasps and screams, couple brought to tears, and a few involuntary bathroom visits ). Not able to make it this weekend due to scheduling, but going back 3rd and 4th weekend. It is still unclear what we'll do on Halloween itself which falls on a Thursday, which has not allowed me to plan for anything here.

          Comment


          • #6
            You got me thinking as well (always next year), as one other alternative is to rely on an Arduino, and convert one of these:

            https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057OC66U

            Into mechanical release clips that drop a candy-bag as-is when electrical current is applied, or a 100-for-$1 little sandwich-bag filled with smaller pieces. Just don't know of any existing mechanical relay like that, so would have to DIY like a mini doorbell mechanism, where the "staff" normally slamming into a bell would detach itself from the hole in the bag upon activation.

            Two of those units would allow 32 dispensable units, so you just have to refill them on occasion.

            Can mount them on a wooden board, shielded by plexiglass if you want the mechanism to be visible. Dispensing tray at the bottom, and if plexiglass is used even turn it into like a large scaled Plinko game as the bag of candy drops/slides down.

            Comment


            • #7
              what about something like this?

              https://www.homedepot.com/p/72-in-An...2959/301502295

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jmaddox View Post
                what about something like this?
                Indeed!!

                We actually had a 36" version of this dude years ago. Kids emptied out the bowl. As a matter of fact, my thoughts of automating candy distribution came from having to fill the bowl up every few minutes.


                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do as we do. Set the bowl on the front porch and when it's gone it's gone
                  -Rupp
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rupp View Post
                    Do as we do. Set the bowl on the front porch and when it's gone it's gone
                    HAH! We are active participants! My wife is in charge of jello shots for the adults and I hand out the candy. What I REALLY want to be doing is scaring all the kids (and adults!) out in the front yard. If they can make it past me, they can have their properly distributed candy!!


                    .

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X