automated can crushers

:confused: ok, my tech lab class is doing projects. my group’s project is to build an automated can crusher. i have no idea where to begin. if you have any advice PLEASE contact me soon!!! :confused:

Buy a manual can crusher and add some pneumatics to activate it. You’d probably need to add some type of automated loading system too that I don’t have a clue on if you really wanted it fully automatic.
'Sounds like a pretty cool class!

Ya, they did something like that on this show on DIY Robot Rivals. If you’ve never heard of the show, it’s not like Battlebots at all. Two college teams compete to build a robot in a day that can accomplish a task and then compete. But on this one episode, they had to build a can crusher, but they had it manual so when they pushed a buttom when the can was underneath the pneumatic crusher, they had it crush the can, they were pretty cool. You could also do something like that and have like a switch or something to detect when the can was under the crusher and have that activate it, but then if anything goes underneath it while the thing is on, it’ll crush it…But that sounds like a really cool project to do.

Yeah I would be careful about anything that has a switch to automatically crush the can. I can just immagine someone putting the can in it and having their hand crushed :eek: . I would use a button personally. If you are supposed to make it automated then make it so you have to close a little door around the can, then as soon as the door is closed it crushes it. This way you can say it is automated, and at the same time it has cool safety features.

Also add cold cathode lights…just for blingage and what not…But ya, like Russell said, you should have some safety things. You should get a scanner and program it for when it scans certain cans to crush it…or better yet, you could have it sort out through everything if you wanted to get it really fancy, like have one scanner, and three different conveyor belts that can be activated when a certain type of can goes underneath it, like some fruit drink or something goes under one type of crusher, all soda goes under a different kind, and then all diet soda goes under a different kind…actually…once I think about it, it’s sort of pointless…except for saying that you can do that…which would also be pretty cool…but good luck on your project.

thanx for the help, though i really dont want to go spending a lot of money on this project. Our teacher has a box of parts for us to use, but i haven’t seen what they are yet.

Another idea, you can use an electromagnet to crush cans, it’d be tougher, but more unique.

A bowling ball dorping at the top of the can…i think this is the easiest way to do it…( I sew some on tv too (school project), when i was at HK)

You could think about putting a proximity switch in there to sense the can since they only sense metal, then taking a plexiglass shield over the crushing area to add safety and just put a little limit switch to be actuated by the plexiglass when it is closed.

yea, the problem using a proximity switch, is that it used magnetics, and aluminum is well…not magnetic, it is classifiea as a “non-ferrous”, or “non-ferromagnetic” metal.automated can crusher is a neat idea, we had to make hydrolic can crushers for an engineering class, and bot was that fun, we could crush anything that would fit in it. Being automated, I suggest using some type of saftey, if this is a cans go in until its filled to a certain point kind of deal, have a infared beam cutting across the top, and a receiver on the other side, then in your program add a delay, so that if the infared signal was cut off, or if the time it took for the ir beam to bounce off a object changes, and it stays changed for a long enough period of time, and if you had a pair of ir sensors in the “entry tube” to the crushing bin, so that if there was something blocking the ir in the crushing bin, and no obstruction of the ir sensors in the loading tube, it could proceed to crush, if for some reason there was a obstruction in the loading tube, then it would come back with a overfilled warning, or load tube obstruction - and not run until all the conditions where met. After it crushes the cans, perhaps you could have an automatic mechanism to push the crushed cans into an adjacent holding pen/garbage can.

to follow Kiss, just have two wires on the face of a wood plate, and have them connect a solonoid to it’s power source. this would make it so you put the can in, and boom, it’s dead.

I think this sounds more like you dump a bag of cans into the machine, and it crushes them one by one

BTW, you cant get your deposit back if the cans are crushed.

There was a thread on this maybe 2 or 3 years ago. I don’t know if you’ll be able to find it or not. There was a team who had built a can crusher to use as a fundraising device and my team was contemplating implementing it but we never did.

From a safety standpoint make it as simple as possible. Essentially you want it to be “Inherently Safe” such that you are not relying on controls, sensors, or actions by the loader to keep it safe. For instance feed the cans through a chute which is long enough to keep the loader’s hand from reaching the crusher.