Trick with treats, for Halloween this year I decided not to hand out candy. Instead I decided to launch candy at high speed at kids. This plan came about merely 2 days before Halloween and was executed with materials scavenger from the bone yard at LVL1 Hackerspace. It was a lot of fun and I am happy with how it turned out but with such a short time frame and the hack job it is I had to leave out and things I will do another way next time. I will try to cover all of them in this instructable.
The propulsion system inside of the pumpkin is two fans that have had their blades replaced with fabric disk. The candy is funneled into the spinning disk then shot out of the mouth. It works the same way tennis ball or baseball launchers work.
Step 1: Materials
*2 small fans
*Glue (I used hot)
*Nuts and bolts or screws
*Pumpkin carving knife
*Saw (metal if your fans are metal)
Step 2: Fans and Pumpkins
The fans that I used was 110v AC fan. They were more than likely used for cooling in a consumer appliance. I used some cut electrical cords that I had to add plugs to them so that I could run them right off of main power.
WARNING: If you wire a fan yourself and plan on plugging it into the wall make sure you know what you are doing and that the fan can handle it. It is a dangerous act and should not be done lightly.
Step 3: Preparing the Fans
Step 4: Cutting Out the Rings for the Flaps
Step 5: Gluing the Flaps On
After you have one to the right size the rest will go much faster.
Step 6: Positioning the Two Wheels
My fans were not the same height when one of them was turned upside down so we needed to stack some scrap wood under it. You may also find that when you get them in the right place that some of your candy is two short. If you find that it is going under the blades when you push it into the fan just build a small shelf for it to rest on. It will not need to go all the way under the blades as they will pick it up and do the rest for you.
Step 7: Loading Tube
Step 8: Install and Carve Your Pumpkin
Step 9: What I Would Change
User smaller fans: I would like to use smaller fans to start with.
Build a hopper: I want to be able to remotely release candy into the pumpkin so that I can have it be more of a robot pumpkin.
Add motion detectors: I would like the pumpkin to automatically detect people and shoot the candy at them. Using open CV or something of the sort.
Install a webcam: If I am already using a camera for targeting I would want to be able to stream the pumpkin as it shoots candy at kids.
Pivoting action on one fan: When you pivot one of the fan it changes the direction the candy moves out. adding a controllable pivot would allow shooting candy in a targeted way.