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Recycling Plant

From: Sammy Pinker, Amy Carter, Laura French, Fleet Wood CP School, Fleet, Lincs

The Project
Our technology project is to make a recycling plant, which will interest younger children and make them want to recycle cans. Here is a diagram of what it should look like when we have finished:

How it works
You put your can on the end of the conveyor belt and press start. The can will start to move along the conveyor belt. A light sensor will see the can and the can will stop moving. All this time the big flower will be moving round and round in circles. One of the smaller stems will start to move towards the can. If your can is steel, a magnet on the stem will pick it up and then pull it over the edge of the conveyor belt. The magnet will switch off and drop the can in a box on the other side of the conveyor belt. However if your can is aluminium it will carry along the conveyor belt and go down a chute into a different box.

The program

GO Program

Input 329 Proc 10 GO

Procedure defintions

Proc 9 [
    Input  6  1  11
    Output  1  H
    Output  2  H
    Time  500

Look for sensor 6 on the barrier. Then do Proc 11. But start the flower wriggling and the conveyor belt running.

Proc 11 [
    Input   5   1   18
    Output   1   L
    Output   2   L
    Time   30
    Output   8   H
    Output   7   L
    Time   40

This procedure stops the conveyor belt and the wriggle.

It waits 3 seconds and moves the barrier out of the way.

It's looking for sensor 5. When it is activated it will do Proc 18.

Proc 10 [
    R60 [
      R60 [
        R24 [
          Time   10

This is our long wait procedure

Proc 18 [
    Output   8   L
    Output   7   L
    Time   20
    Output   3   H
    Output   4   H
    Output   5   L
    Time   24
    Output   4   L
    Output   5   H
    Time   24
    Output   3   L
    Output   5   L
    Time   30
    Output   1   H
    Output   2   H
    Time   200
    Output   1   L
    Output   2   L
    Time   20
    Output   7   H
    Output   8   L
    Time   25
    Output   7   L

This stops the barrier.

This activates the magnet and moves the magnet branch towards the tin.
The magnet should touch the tin here.

If it's a steel tin it will be dragged into the chute.

The magnet is switched off.

The belt starts up again. So if the tin wasn't picked up it carries along the belt to where the belt tilts slightly to one side.
A leaf helps to topple the tin down a different chute.

This puts the barrier back to its original position ready for the next tin.

Finished project
The problems we had
To start with we could not fix the magnet to the stem/arm, so we made a sort of clamp on the back of the magnet using a piece of wood with three holes drilled in it. The next problem we had was that we could not get the light sensor and the light to line up, so we made two little stands using two cardboard tubes. Then we found the sensor was picking up ambient light. It took us a long time to come up with the solution, but we decided to abandon the idea of the sensor altogether and change it to a pressure pad on a barrier.

When we had put the program into the Console and when the barrier went forward like it was supposed to, and then hit the other pressure pad. We thought it was going very well but then it suddely came back and went out again etc. First of all we had made a mistake in the programming. Then the barrier was hitting the pressure pad and not releasing it, so we had to add a time command.

We really enjoyed this project although we had to solve lots of problems along the way. We were pleased with the final conveyor belt as was Mr Thompson our headmaster who showed it at a NAAIDT Conference, where everyone was very impressed with what we'd done.

  © 2004. Amethyst Consultancy Ltd.