Croquet Ball Randomizer

A overly complicated machine that randomizes player color selection for four-player Croquet

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Every year the extended family has a croquet tournament for 30-40 participants. I typically create a new technical innovation every year. This year I will create a croquet ball color randomizer, that assigns the color of the ball to each participant. The randomization will take place by placing all four balls in a machine. The players line up next to the machine, and each player then receives a random ball.

The project will also mark my first attempts at 3D Cad, 3D Printing and OSH Park. And :).

Deadline is 25th of July, when the annual croquet tournament of 2015 will take place.

  • First rotation action!

    Martin Lindskog07/16/2015 at 11:56 0 comments

    First test of software + all hardware successful! Everything works as expected. Next step will be to assemble the entire large structure which will take place next week, prior to the annual family croquet tournament (~30-40 participants).

  • PCBs have arrived!

    Martin Lindskog07/16/2015 at 11:53 0 comments

    I will use an arduino for the randomizing and sequencing. While I have experience with several hardware platforms, I value short set-up and development time and good community support over performance and price. It was also a good opportunity to try it out!

    I designed a simple breakout-board to simplify installation. Also gave me an opportunity to test OSH Park.

    I chose to use hole-mounted components to be able to easily modify the design when it is in place outside, by the croquet court.

    It has connections to five servos, some various power supply options as well as a number of buttons to start the mixing sequence. I've also included expansion possibilities for IR gates, which might be used in a future update of the system (I plan to use suitable delays in the first revision)

  • Servo mount

    Martin Lindskog07/16/2015 at 11:47 0 comments

    The basic idea is to have three rotating shafts that open or close holes that the balls can fall into. Previous attempts have been flimsy and not rigid enough, so I decided to create a proper solution. I use cheap servo motors for the rotation (the force required is quite small), but the small servo motors need proper mechanical fastening. I purchased some cheap ball bearings from aliexpress, and 3d-printed a servo holder with bearings to offload all force from the servo. Seems to work fine!

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