Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week TechVideo, 2011 #33 - Run away!... The poison machine is back

Don't get confused about the title... It's a private joke.

Maybe some of you remember this former TechVideo post, about Ricardo's Vending Machine v2.5.
Since then, Ricardo continued to work at an "improved" version of this, so called v3.0...
Not much different in terms of functions, but there was an intention to rebuild everything, now based in LEGO elements only or officially produced OEM elements, while replacing the old RCX also.

In the last months he has been in Gothenburg (Sweden) at an Erasmus, doing a very interesting graduation project at the industry in cooperation with TLG (but that's a topic for a later post). Short time before his last return to home base, Ricardo made a video featuring a kind of demo and explanation about the machine "features" to his mentor (Johan) from the graduation project.
It turned to be a quite genuine and funny video in raw format and without production, that he showed to me one night this summer. Hence I asked him for an YT upload to share here at TBs .

Ok!... Not everything working perfect at first try, but still more than enough to give us a good preview.
Maybe some time later Ricardo will produce a more formal presentation about the functions of his new vending machine, like he did for the previous version.

This new version includes:
  • 1 NXT
  • 7 Touch sensors (4 for the keypad)
  • 1 Light sensor (NXT 1.0)
  • 1 Color sensor (NXT 2.0)
  • 1 Ultrasonic sensor
  • 4 NXT servos
  • 4 PF XL motors
  • 1 PF M motor
  • 1 RC motor (used in the air pump for the liquids dispenser)
  • 6 PF lights
From HiTechnic we have:
  • 1 Touch sensor mux
  • 1 Sensor mux
  • 1 IRLink
There is also one port splitter from (likely to be removed in the next revision).

The whole contraption is programed using NXC.

During his quest to finish the new VM version, Ricardo took the machine across several places (Lisbon, Billund, Stockholm, Zwölle, Gothenburg,...). It looks it hasn't been an easy task, regardless of the efforts put in applying proper cushioning to make it travel safe.
It's LEGO after all... It is made to be assembled and disassembled.

So it looks Ricardo had to rebuild it several times, while trying to improve the software functions further, at each new destination where the VM arrived. Always thinking it would be the last one and it would get ready...

But... Do you see the drops of one famous beverage, spread over the parts in the image at the right side?...
Yes, in one of its trips it looks there was an exploding can...


crowkillers said...

This was a very enjoayable video to watch and the end result is quite amazing...

niels.verbeek said...

7 touch sensors + 1 light sensor + 1 color sensor + 1 ultrasone sensor + 1 IR link
in total 11 sensors
on a (touch) sensor mux can combine 4 sensors to 1 nxt sensor port
two (touch) sensor muxes togeter can combine 8 sensors to 2 nxt ports
so 11-6= 5 sensor ports are needed
but a nxt only has 4
how did he that?

MacAttack said...

The unimog is featured on Top Gear website:

Ricardo Oliveira said...

Thanks for the highlight Fernando! ;)

I connect directly to the NXT a color sensor, an IRLink and 2 muxes. One Tmux for 4 touch sensors in the keypad and a general sensor mux, holding a light sensor, an ultrasonic and 3 touch, where 2 of them are connected to the same port using 3 9V-NXT converter cable in a tree shape, you see? You get 3 NXT plugs all connected. Besides that, I even use a third connection on that port: an old 9v cable in parallel with those touch sensors to support the coin conductivity detection. When I propperly present the machine, I will better explain the coin detection part.

About the youtube questions, I'll get back to them later, because Im in the phone, in vacations. :-) Thanks a lot for whatching!

VKTechnic said...

It should ask you for your ID if you're buying beer... :P

Alex Campos said...

Ah, I missed "The Poisonator" (:D)! And I see it has some new yellow clothes, too... ;)

Finally I can see how this marvel works! I had seen in person the previous, black-and-red version, but it was always at occasions when there wasn't enough time to properly see its workings.

One thing that I still don't fully understand, and should become clear with a quick peek, is how the product ejector works: I don't remember if it has a single motor for connecting the X-Y "carriage" to the ejection conveyor belt and making it move (most likely hypothesis), or if there are two separate motors for the functions. Also, I don't remember exactly how the "carriage" and the conveyor engage: I think it involves wedge belt wheels and pins with ball joint.

Anyway, I can't wait for the opportunity to see this machine again!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

© 2007-2014 TechnicBRICKs
TechnicBRICKs contents may be sporadically updated, if the authors finds further relevant info about a certain post, or content/spell mistakes. Hence please don't be surprised if you find few changes at later visits, relative to a previous read.

TechnicBRICKs often shows other peoples' creations and/or images. We always try to credit the author(s) and link to their main publishing website, and if possible with their name in real life.
Since this is not always possible, we request that if you find something here that is yours or from someone you know, you leave a comment on the respective post and claim the authorship.

TechnicBRICKs is optimized for Firefox 16.0 and 1600x1200 resolution displays or wider.

LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this blog.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configurations, the Minifigure and MINDSTORMS, are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group.
Original LEGO images are copyrighted by The LEGO Group and are used here in accordance with their fair play policy.
You can visit the official LEGO® website at