We originally wanted to build a car, but it was too boring. We thought a vending machine would be cute.
What it does
The car runs with two motors controlled by an infrared remote control with capabilities for forward and backward motion, differential steer, and variable speed. On top of the car is a mini vending machine with an option for two snacks. There are four buttons and an LCD screen in which you must input the correct code to get the snack.
How I built it
We first prototyped all the circuitry on a breadboard and gradually added components. There are two separate circuit components and microcontrollers for the car and vending machine. At the same time, we spent a lot of time in the hardware area building the car itself using wood, acrylic, and aluminum framing.
Challenges I ran into
The circuitry got complicated with parts for the car and all the wiring needed to supply power to both microcontrollers all from a battery. Building the car itself was also a challenge with limited supplies and tools.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The electronics work very well!
What I learned
Various hardware building skills, electronics and circuit design
What's next for Vending Car
Cleaner design, PCBs to organize circuit, stronger motors and better drive/control mechanisms