Here's a stumper!

My first class was recently assigned a very difficult, yet intriguing project, and we’re looking for help! Here it goes…

We have roughly 4 days to complete this project…

Each project must be automated, meaning once the process starts there is no human interaction with the device.

We must complete one of the following, and it MUST FIT INTO A SHOEBOX ONCE COMPLETE.

  1. An automated device that will place a stamp in the upper right hand corner of an envelope, move the envelope, and repeat the process on a new envelope.

  2. An automated device that will peel an apple, and repeat the process on a new apple

  3. A device that will fold one piece of paper in thirds, and repeat the process on a second piece of paper.

  4. A device that automatically will place, and screw a bottle cap on a pop bottle, and repeat the process on a second bottle.

Here is the materials list:

Rubber Bands
Super Glue
Small Hobby Motors
Standard Size Batteries ( not marine or car )

Anyone care to but their engineering minds to use?

For the Stamp on envelope i would take a motor and some gears then put 2 arms on the last gear that has the stamps on the end of the arms, then maybe a conveyor that moves the envlopes and the arm spins down and puts the stamp in place. If you gear both the arm and the conveyor right and get the arm length right it would be place the envlopes in somthing that only lets 1 out at a time, then turn it on and one arm would hit the envelope as it moves buy then as the next envelope moves in the other would get its stamp by the other arm.

for the apple peeler make some gripper that hold the apple and can rotate, then just have a spring putting pressure on somthing sharp that moves down the apple, like a lathe basically

for folding paper all you need is 3 arms, for the arms, take a piece of plexi and cut it 3 to1/3 the size of the paper. then u have the first arm go in the middle of the paper then 1 arm folds towards the middle then moves out then the other folds in and out. Some sorta ramp that lets 1 paper fall at a time or somthing to get papers in

Again make some sort of gripper that spins to hold the bottle or the cap, then have the bottle get pushed into the cap

my descriptions stink probably, sorry i dont have time to make a drawing, i know there are machines that automatically fold papers out there so look for them ive never seen them but i have heard storys of this wonderous machine.

Umm, thanks for the great suggestions, but they pose a few problems…how is this going to fit into a shoebox? And when you speak of “arms” what exactly on the materials list can be made into a functionall arm?

the plexiglass, plastic and wood…as for the stamper maybe u should look into how thoes postage machines work, ive used them u put the letter in they stamp them and shoot them out the side…The hardest thing is that you have to do one after another, or can you just do 2 at a time? far as fitting in a shoe box, can the fold out? also is there a specific orientation?

Well, my teammates and I are unsure if it has to be completely inside the box at all times. It must do the task, reload itself, then do it again.

can it take the envelopes from outside the box and then spit them back out after the process??? Or does it all have to be contained within the box??

as far as my team knows, it all has to be contained in the box

Yeah, uh… Dan and I are in the same class and we dont know what the frick do do about this project-

Yo dan (or anyone else who’d like to answer this question) does “automated” imply that we flip a switch and it goes? or can we start it with a push or something and it does the function?

lol (clueless)

yeah we’re introuble. Any more ideas that might not involve buying like 4 $14 motors?

(or non cost-effective ways would be nice too)

Thanks a million


Hey Nate! Glad to see you joined chief delphi, it rules.

As for automated, you are allowed to set everything up, turn it on, and once everything is going you can’t touching it.

Nate, or anyone else who still would like to offer their opinion on how exactly to go about this monster of a project.

Now, the machine can expand outside of the boundries of the box
Wire is allowed
Duct Tape is allowed

Is there a limit of how much of each material is allowed?

No limits on number of each part used, it no longer all has to fit into the box.

Looks like you guys are getting some good input on your project. Good idea to post here Dan. Nate, I would check around a bit for cheaper motors. I think you should be able to find them for around a buck per. If not, try a dollar store or the toy dept at k-mart, look for inexpensive toys that use a motor, and scrap the toy for the motor. To clarify, the shoe box is intended as a storage device. The project does have to fit in the box, but can be assembled and disassembled to meet this criteria.

BTW, Nate if you have no idea “what the frick to do,” you may want to come and see me during seminar on Monday!

for a non cost effective non practicle/impossible way is to get a stamp mashiene and shrink it other than that i dont know what you should do id have to see the parts to be able to work on it good luck