Picture of Automatic Halloween Candy Dispenser
This year my Halloween project is the Automatic Halloween Candy Dispenser® triggered by TextforTreat®, CallforTreat® (powered by Twilio)and @TweetforTreat® technologies. Of course it can also be triggered from a Big Red push button, but where is the fun in that?

When trick-or-treaters show up at my house they can text, call, or tweet a code displayed on an LCD screen to get their Halloween candy. They can also push the Big Red button.

Once the candy request is made a few "special" effects are triggered by X10 modules. A low laying fog machine is activated and lights turn on while the candy shoots down from my front deck on the second floor.

* Update. Now with video!

Step 1: Materials

Candy Dispenser Control Box Main Box Communication Bridge Fog Machine
Lights and accesories
xfaith3 years ago
If i wanted to make something like this minus the txting/tweeting. what parts could be removed? Thought this might be good to try with my daughters, but just want them to push a button. (that will be hidden or something).
noelportugal (author) 4 years ago
I noticed that some kids were really interested in the tech. I took pride in explaining the basics. I hope that some kids may realize that they can do cool things too, instead of wasting countless hours in front a video game or tv.
Shesu4 years ago
This looks like great fun, and I can see that kids would love it (particularly the button). It's also a great idea if you're going to be out of town, or for activating props.

My problem is how are you going to prevent one kid from standing there pressing the button (or whatever method) and getting all the candy?
noelportugal (author)  Shesu4 years ago
I purposely set about 30-45 seconds delay between each time the button could be pushed. Also I was at the house pretty much the whole time. A solution could be to have a counter and track how ofter the button is pushed. In this way you could temporarily "lock" the machine if too many consecutive push are happening.

GTechno134 years ago
Awesome project but I don't see the tweet/call/text being useful. Kids should not be trick or treating and owning a cell phone at the same time and most parents are not going to take the time to when there is a button.
I am 15, own a cell phone, and trick or treated. Who are you to say because I have a phone I am not allowed to trick or treat?
Never thought of a kid having their parents phone or similar. Duh me!
Wait, do you mean "owning" or simply "having available on one's person at the time"? Crucial difference.
noelportugal (author)  GTechno134 years ago
Thanks GTechno13, I did thought of that. I do realize most kids will just push the button and thats great! I love the action-reaction of a hack. I added the web(tweet) and the txt/call thing just for fun. I like to create web and remote controlled physical devices. ie last year people could request a Christmas song online and it was synchronized to lights and transmitted on an FM station in my house (http://www.instructables.com/id/xmas-box-ArduinoioBridge-internet-controlled-Chr/ )

After this I plan in use Twilio to help me automate my home.
You raise some good points, however, many children of trick-or-treating age do have texting cell phones and would get a blast out of texting for the treat instead of hitting the big red button.  While only maybe one in 20 might text for it, those that do would be telling all their friends about it and would not soon forget it, maybe even sparking their interest in becoming makers themselves one day.

Best Wishes
Ahmedqatar4 years ago
I liked the idea .. maybe i will build one but not for Halloween!
abbtech4 years ago
I can see the adults getting a kick out of the tech!
Miss C4 years ago
This is such an awesome idea but you do realise once word gets out that you have the coolest candy dispenser on the block that kids will be queuing around the block all night LOL