I was strolling down the candy aisle at the supermarket and there it was: the PEZ dispenser, conjuring up sweet (literally) childhood memories served up by my favorite cartoon characters in squarish sugary pellets. Then, all of a sudden, an LED went off in my head. PEZ meets Arduino.
In this age of over-automation, where robots do everything short of scratching nostrils, I figured that my sugar-dispensing childhood toy, The PEZ, also deserves automation.
HOW IT WORKS
Basically, I am using an ultrasonic distance sensor to decide if someone is within 20 cm from the sensor which is attached next to PEZ. If so, Arduino will turn the servo 180 degrees back pulling with it the ear of Mickey Mouse. When Mickey's head is pulled back, a PEZ pellet is pushed out of the mouse's mouth. Yummy.
After a few seconds (5 seconds in my Arduino sketch) the servo returns back to 90 degrees, closing Mickey's mouth and waiting for the next person in line to serve.
Step 1: PARTS LIST
- The PEZ Robo Dispenser. I picked a Mickey Mouse PEZ because big ears are better at holding a noose that will be tied to the rotating servo horn.
- Arduino Uno or clone. I used my GOduino III.
- Ultrasonic Distance Sensor HC-SR04. ($2.50 Ebay)
- RC Servo ($2.50 Ebay)
- Jumper wires
- Wire fasteners or rubber bands
- Battery (Anything over 7 volts with about 500mAh).