The Internet of Claw Machines

Remote administration of machines is a very useful tool for all manner of commercial, industrial, and home applications. Now, it’s available for claw machines, too – thanks to [Code Your Venture Free].

The project uses an ESP32 board that includes a battery case on the back for a standard 18650 lithium battery that makes getting small battery powered projects off the ground much easier. You can find them at Banggood and AliExpress, but we’re not 100% sure that they’re kosher because they’re branded WeMos, but don’t show up on WeMos’ website or their official online retail store. Anyway, it’s a cute idea to strap a LiPo cell to the back like that. Let us know in the comments if you know more.

Back to the claw! An off-the-shelf thumbstick is then connected to the ESP32 which is programmed to send packets over the network to control the claw machine, which is wired up with its own network-connected microcontroller. It’s all wrapped up in the usual 3D printed case.

The one problem that the project doesn’t solve is delivery – how does the remote player, whether on the local network or online, collect their prize? We can only assume some cutting-edge form of drone delivery is the solution. It’s not the first remote claw machine we’ve seen, either. Video after the break.

7 thoughts on “The Internet of Claw Machines

    1. Now I’m picturing an amazon warehouse completely packed with workers and a giant claw hanging from the ceiling where internet users try to catch an amazon worker of their very own.

  1. I don’t think that delivery of prizes is a major concern for claw machines.

    After all, this is one of the few robotic applications where the machine is specifically designed and tuned to *not* work, to avoid the need to refill the machine.

    1. To expand on what Ren posted, the software in nearly all legally sold “games of chance” machines such as these allow the owner to explicitly specify the income vs payout ratio, since different countries have different laws regarding gambling.

      Some places have minimum payout ratios, others only laws saying you must specify to the end-user what that percentage ratio is, and others have combinations of both.

      Your post sorta implies it is always set, due to being designed, to have a zero percent payout ratio. This isn’t at all true.
      The machines are designed to let the owner specify those values, and places no restriction on the owner to be a zero percent or not.
      This lets owners of such machines specify whatever values they need to stay in compliance with the laws, no matter where that owner is in the world.

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