Build a mechatronic device capable of preparing cans for recycling by reducing their volume and depositing them into a container with no more than the designated number of human interactions.
General Project Requirements
The device must be portable and overall volume should not exceed 8 ft3.
You may use wall power but must use a dedicated supply (such as a PC power supply) for the final product. Battery-operated devices are another possibility for greater mobility. You may not rely upon the laboratory bench power supplies to run your device.
A guideline reimbursable range for the total parts and materials cost purchased by the team is $250-$350; however, each team will create a proposed budget and negotiate a final reimbursable project cost with the instructors. NO SALES TAXES will be reimbursed. At the end of the semester, the instructors keep all parts supplied or reimbursed. These will be available for students in succeeding years.
Construction and Aesthetics
The device must be robustly constructed. Nuts and bolts or other proper fasteners are generally preferable to tape, especially large amounts of the latter. For electronics, use proper soldering or wire wrap for connections. Prototyping electronics on a bread board is fine, but the final project should not include a bread board. Appearance counts. “Rat’s nest” wiring, duct tape, bubble gum, or otherwise rickety-looking devices are discouraged not only for the sake of aesthetics, but also because they tend to be less robust.
The mechanism may not damage anything with which it interacts. Be particularly careful with soldering irons and the manufacturing machines in the machine shop, even if you are an expert on operating them.
Specific Project Requirements
- Reduce the volume of the cans by crushing or shredding.
- Recycle at least 10 aluminum cans (4.8’’ high and 2.5’’ in diameter).
- You may purchase an off-the-shelf crusher if desired.
- Output to a container with a reduction of at least a factor of three in can volume, in other words, the compression ratio needs to be >= 3.
- Design or choose your output container to be easily removable so that the recycled cans are able to be dumped into the measuring container.
- Human interaction
- The 10 cans will be provided to you in an open-top container.
- Feed at least 10 cans all at once by dumping them into the feeding mechanism without touching them. You may not input the cans into the feeding mechanism one by one.
- You may not manually remove the compacted cans from the machine.
- Input (i.e., dump into the machine) 10 cans in 10 seconds or less.
- Your system must recycle 10 cans in 2 minutes or less. The countdown begins with the feeding action.
- Include an emergency stop capability.
- If the machine is jammed, use the emergency stop. If possible, use a tool, rather than your hand, to remove the can. If it is not possible to use a tool, make sure that all power to the machine is removed before inserting your hand.