Four Flavors of Tasting Feet
This summer, I am once again diving into designing mechanical personality quirks. I’ll be investigating new and exciting ways for my robot, NoodleFeet to interact with the world. This time, my focus is the wet, tingly and preferential aspect of TASTE.
From now until the end of August, my goal is to produce four different tasting modules that each demonstrate some aspect of sampling or preference. You could think of them as the “four tasters of the apocalypse”…
The project parameters are that each module must fit within a 3” x 9” cylindrical space (i.e. the size of Noodle’s foot appendage). For reference, the mechanical goodies I am to design must be housed inside one of these frames:
The first Module that I chose to focus on will effectively plant a single bean a few inches below the surface it stands on. Why beans, you ask? Well, Noodle loves beans, of course. When he makes it to Mars, he’ll need to be able to propagate his favorite thing efficiently. Until then, he can practice planting on couch pillows, piles of laundry, litter boxes and the like…
This module will execute three different tasks in one planting cycle: CORING, DISPENSING, and WATERING
So far, I’ve successfully created a prototype that executes one of these tasks; the dispensing function, which is coincidentally linked to the aspect of housing the beans. To solve storing and delivering the beans in a controlled manner, I devised of a helical shape that is inspired by an archimedes screw… and also inspires thoughts of mint:
My candy cane hopper shape captures the beans in-between the threads and processes them upwards within channels that flank the spiral:
Once fully loaded, every time the helix rotates 90 degrees, it will carry one bean to the exit slot on the inside wall at the top. The bean will then drop down the hollow center of the helix and into the coring device below… (which… is next on my list to design)
This is the first assembly I’ve ever designed in Fusion360. One week into using it, I’m sad I didn’t make the switch sooner!!! If you’re considering doing so too, bite it and take the leap! Your life will be so much better once you do!
This mechanism that I dreamed up in my brain-meat a little more than a week ago, pretty much works after the first iteration. There is totally some things I need to tweak in order to make it work more reliably. However, it is doing what I want, exactly how I imagined it working.
Not bad for a first try!! =D
While I ponder over the next step, which is the coring mechanism, I will also begin CADing the next tasting module. Which? The one that involves litmus paper…
Interesting update, thanks!
Seems like a traditional hopper (belt with scoops, printed/molded in silicone?) would be far less material and a simpler/more reliable mechanism than a screw-based hopper…Something like https://euromachinesusa.com/app/uploads/2014/09/IMG_0634.jpg
Or do you plan to have multiple channels?
Bonus would be to use the rotation of the hopper rotate the corer.
I’m going to use something like that in one of the other modules =D It will have a slightly different purpose. The screw is mainly for show and to add a dash of absurdity to the project. =)
As for using the rotation of the hopper to drive the corer… I’m investigating ways to do this, but haven’t wrapped my head around anything I feel confident about yet. It is the goal though. If I can get away with only using one motor in this mechanism, I’ll be a happy raptor!
thank you for the suggestions!
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