Melon Factor – Part 3
This is Part 3 of my Melon Factor Project, which is part of my NXTLog Food Factor Competition Entry for May 2012.
In Part 1 of my project, involved transportation of the Melons using a Forklift Truck to transport the boxes of melons from the delivery depot to the processing plant.
Part 2 of my project, was the first part of the 'Processing Plant' consists of a 'Gantry Crane' to take the Melon Boxes from the Forklift, and convey them to the 'Elevator Bin'. The Melon Box is then placed on the Bin and the Gantry Crane's Hook is released, which causes the bottom of the Melon Box to henge down, releasing the Melons into the Bin and the 'Empty Melon Box' was taken to the storage area of the Depot.
This part of the 'Processing Plant' involves the washing of the Melons to remove dirt and other containments before been sent for 'Robotic Visual Inspection'. The 'Melon Washer' design is based on a Portable Concrete Mixer picture here with the wheelbarrow. The Mixer's Drum can rotate, spinning the Melons as they are cleaned with high pressure fluid being sprayed on them. The Mixer's Drum can also be tilted up to accept Melons for washing, and down to empty the Melons into the Melon Sorter's Hopper for further processing.
The 'Melon Washer', as mentioned above can move on two axis. The first one involves spinning the Melon Washer's drum using a single NXT Motor. I could have used a Power Functions XL Motor, but the mount wasn't as secure as I would like. This motor just continues to spin, until the Melons are cleaned.
The second axis is controlled via a Radio Control (RC) type Servo Motor controlled via a Mindsensors 8 Channel Servo Controller (NXTServo). The RC Servo tilts the Melon Washer's Drum upwards to allow the Melons to drop in from the Conveyor System (Melon Factor – Part 2). Once the Melons are cleaned, the RC Servo tilts the drum downwards, to allow the Melons to empty into the 'Melon Quality Control' hoppers for further processing
The Technics Components in 'Green' represent the RC Servo Mountings. See the 'Technics Mount for RC type Servo Motors'.
When it comes time to integrate the Melon Washer into the rest of the 'Melon Factor Processing Plant', the stand shown will be remove so the washer can be interfaced into the processing line.
NOTE: The elements at the mouth of the Melon Washer's drum (Parts #32348 Technic, Liftarm 1 x 7 Bent 4 – 4 Thick) are shown disconnected at one end in the LEGO Digital Designer CAD file. This isn't the case with the final working model.