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Vending Machine Microcontroller
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Vending Machine Microcontroller

by maria9876 on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:45 pm

Hi, I'm really new to all of this so I'm need a little help as to where to start and everything.

I'm trying to make a vending machine which will requiew 9 motors, 7 buttons, 1 motion sensor, 1 servo, and an ON/OFF switch. I was planning on using a micro controller to integrate all of these components and also writing some software for it so that it does things. For example, if I press, "B2" I want a certain motor to turn a certain number of rotations.

So, after having said all that, I'm not sure where to begin. What kind of a micro-controller should I buy to support so many motors and other components? What programming language should I use? Does it matter if I buy a specific kind of micro-controller?

As I said, I'm a newbie so I honestly have no clue about anything. Please give me some suggestions. Thanks!
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: Vending Machine Microcontroller

by cstratton on Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:51 pm

Well, you either need a micro with enough pins, or you need some sort of i/o expander to demultiplex its outputs. Some solutions for driving motors may bring that essentially for free.

You should think some about what type of motors and how to drive them. Do they need to turn both direction or only one way (much simpler circuit) How much torque do they need? How much current? Will they be gearhead motors or direct drive? How will you determine when they have turned the appropriate number of turns - Is an approximate result okay so that you can do it by time? Can you do it with a limit switch? Do you need some kind of turns counter or encoder? Either of these will require inputs to read. Do you want to use a stepper motor and turn it the desired number of steps?

If your program won't be too complicated, then it's more a problem of the electromechanical parts and the driver circuits than what chip you actually choose to put in charge. Often you choose a micro because you are already familiar with it, or like the development tools for it, or because it has some particular important peripheral like lcd controller, usb, ethernet, or whatever. Other times you need a low cost or low power solution and so it's important that the chip be just perfect for the job.

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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:52 pm

Re: Vending Machine Microcontroller

by zener on Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:58 pm

Have you considered an Arduino? It might have enough pins. Post on the Arduino forum.

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