Simple Bricks

The aim was to design, develop and manufacture a robotic system that could dispense “snacks” (in this case, the snacks were LEGO Duplo bricks) with the idea being that a student could dispense snacks using a card which would let the machine know if they had any allergies, which would prevent the user from dispensing a “snack” with their given allergy. In our case, each duplo brick was a different colour, and each colour would represent an allergy.

In this group project, I was the Software Engineer and Web Developer. However I also took the role of Hardware Engineer set up the electronics behind the machine’s HMI. We had to use an ARM MBED for any HMI and a FPGA to control the motors/servos.

Below is an exploded picture of the vending machine, created by Seonaid McIntosh.

We decided to use an NFC sensor with along with NFC cards to determine the user’s allergy, this could be programmed with the software’s maintenance mode. It was also decided to use a tablet which would stream the software from a laptop.

Below are pictures of the software:

Overall the project was successful and we won an award for the most innovative software and best maintenance mode.


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