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Author Topic: Has anyone made their own crane game?  (Read 1069 times)

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spystyle

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Has anyone made their own crane game?
« on: June 06, 2006, 03:47:44 pm »
Hello from Maine,

My daughter wants to know - do we have the technology?

Thank you,
Craig

leapinlew

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2006, 05:16:24 pm »
I suppose you could make one... why not. But, you'd be better off buying and refurbing one from a cost stand point.

Tahnok

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 06:43:18 pm »
leapinlew is right, they're dirt cheap. But, if you are really intent on building your own, it wouldn't be hard. The hardest part is making the timer, drop claw, and return to prize bin. Or you can go with the old style of manual drop, close, raise, and return to prize bin.
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RickDIII

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2006, 09:21:27 pm »
Quote
leapinlew is right, they're dirt cheap.

I've been watching for one locally and they seem hard to come by.  On Ebay they tend to run one of two ways...the local pickups seem to always be too far away and the ones willing to ship go for too much money.

Anybody know of another source from which to rescue used cranes?


jelwell

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2006, 09:42:07 pm »
Anybody know of another source from which to rescue used cranes?
I've seen crane games go for 5$ and less at Superauctions. Sometimes full of toys!
Joseph Elwell.

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 02:27:29 am »
I'd say the hardest part would be getting the prize to slip out of the claw's grasp just before it made it to the drop bin.   ;D

RickDIII

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2006, 09:44:32 am »
Ok, I'm gonna go way out here, but here's an idea I've been thinking about and this seems like a good opportunity to get laughed at.

Here's my lame idea:
When I was a kid, one of the favorite toys I never got (cousins had it) was the armatron by Radio Shack.  This toy was cool - anybody remember it?  It was a robot arm powered by a couple of joysticks.  You could manipulate the arm to pick up little pieces and stack them etc.  Maybe it is just because I always wanted one, but I was thinking this would be a great variant on the candy crane games.  Armatrons are available on ebay for $20-40.  If you hacked one and put the robot arm in a case with a chute, moved the controls to outside the cabinet, and then put a power switch on a coin activated timer you could fill the machine with candy.

I think it would be fun to play...what do you think?  Shoot holes in my theory here...
Anybody seen an item like this before?

The part that I do not know how to do is build the circuit switch that based on a coin drop started power to the device for x seconds...but it seems like this might not be very complicated for someone experienced in this type of component design.

Anyway...laugh away...tell me how lame I am...tell me I need to grow up...or provide feedback.  It's up to you.  

spystyle

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2006, 09:56:52 am »
Groovy

Steve B.

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2006, 11:08:17 am »
I think it would be fun to play...what do you think?  Shoot holes in my theory here...
Anybody seen an item like this before?

The Armatron was definitely a cool robotic arm. Believe it or not, the whole thing operated with just one motor. The two joysticks on the base were not electronic but mechanical. When you pushed a joystick, you actually engaged a series of gears which made the various joints move. A friend of mine took his Armatron and made it computer controlled by following an article in Radio Electronics. Each joystick was surrounded by 4 solenoids which were controlled by the computer. By activating the solenoids, the mechanical joysticks would get pushed around and would control the Armatron. It was fun to watch.

Good luck with your project. I'd love to see it happen.

-Steve

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 11:09:00 am »
The Armatron concept would be much more fun to use than the current sleazy claw mechanisms.  I'd probably put money in one that was well built (but then again, I'm a hopeless claw machine addict)

You would probably need more intelligence in the electronics than a simple timer though.  It would be important to have the arm return to a home position and "drop" just like the claws do.  Otherwise, the next person would be using valuable seconds to get where they want to be, and it might deter them from playing if that place was on the other side of the machine from where the last person left it.

All in all, I like the idea :)

RandyT
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 11:20:43 am by RandyT »

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 11:25:28 am »
Quote
The Armatron was definitely a cool robotic arm. Believe it or not, the whole thing operated with just one motor. The two joysticks on the base were not electronic but mechanical. When you pushed a joystick, you actually engaged a series of gears which made the various joints move. A friend of mine took his Armatron and made it computer controlled by following an article in Radio Electronics. Each joystick was surrounded by 4 solenoids which were controlled by the computer. By activating the solenoids, the mechanical joysticks would get pushed around and would control the Armatron. It was fun to watch.

Good info...not only did you figure that I had wrongly assumed the joysticks were electronic, but you also provided a solution to the problem.  I was able to track down the actual article:  "Computer-controlled robotic arm. How to modify Radio Shack's "Armatron" robot arm to operate under control of an IBM PC or compatible computer."
MODERN ELECTRONICS [2] Dec 1988 (v.5#12) pg. 7.  Now if I can just get my hands on it at the library...

Quote
You would probably need more intelligence in the electronics than a simple timer though.  It would be important to have the arm return to a home position and "drop" just like the claws do.  Otherwise, the next person would be using valuable seconds to get where they want to be, and it might deter them from playing if that place was on the other side of the machine from where the last person left it.

I'll have to look at this.  I agree that it would be a much better design for the arm to return to nuetral.  I would also need to think about whether the timer stopped once an item dropped down the chute or if the user had an opportunity to continue to pick items. 

Edit:  Maybe skip the armatron (20 year old tech) and look at some of the more modern alternatives:
http://www.imagesco.com/catalog/RoboticArm/RoboticArm01.html
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 12:05:32 pm by RickDIII »

RandyT

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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2006, 01:24:15 pm »
I'll have to look at this.  I agree that it would be a much better design for the arm to return to nuetral.  I would also need to think about whether the timer stopped once an item dropped down the chute or if the user had an opportunity to continue to pick items. 

I guess it depends on the controls.  If it was too easy to grab stuff, it wouldn't make any money.  Although, if the best you could do in 15 seconds was to grab 15 cents worth of candy and it cost 50 cents to play, by all means let them grab as much as they can! :)


RandyT


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Re: Has anyone made their own crane game?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2006, 07:45:19 pm »
Armatron....OHG, haven't heard of one of those in years.....one of my favorite toys...about a year into it, mine broke, and of course....I took it apart to see how it worked.

Pro's....Excellent control, VERY, VERY cool

Cons....delicate...never had much of a grip...wouldn't see it lasting too long in a crane game.

Grrrr...now I got to search Ebay, and buy one....thanks... :angry:

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