Cannihilator Can Crusher

This box will crush your cans and deposit them in the bin below. Branded the Cannihilator, [Jeff Walsh] built this with his two sons, [Jake] and [Ryan]. Early hacking eduction is important if they want their future projects to be regular Hackaday features.

The crushing power is provided by a solenoid pneumatic ram. As seen in the video after the break, the can goes in the door on the left, is crushed, then drops through a slot. [Jeff] had fingers and hands in mind when designing this and included a few safety features. The “crush” button is locate on the opposite end from the can slot, there is a kill switch to disable the solenoid, and a keyed switch to shut the whole apparatus down. A Basic Stamp 2 microcontroller handles the electronics with the help of a daughter-board to manage the load switching. This is a nice addition to the creative can crushers out there.

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Interfacing With An Analog Joystick

[Firestorm_x1] put together a tutorial about interfacing an analog joystick with a microcontroller. These analog sticks are easy to find; he got his from Goodwill but we’ve got a couple in our junk box right now. The stick uses variable resistors to report its position so it’s just a matter of reading and interpreting that data. After explaining the concepts he demonstrates how to use the joystick to control a Basic Stamp 2 based robot, the Boe-Bot. This could easily be adapted for use with other robot platforms.