I know I am a little early but does anyone have any good ideas of how I could automate Candy / Sweets dispensing for Halloween? I have a Ring doorbell and can put a sensor on the door to know when someone knocks, but struggling with how to automatically give out the Candy / Sweets. Ideas welcome
I like the idea of picking up a Z-wave shutoff valve, like a WaterCop, and using it to drive a rotating flap on a dispenser. Now that you mention it, I might unhook mine from the valve and do just that…
The easiest, but also probably the most expensive, is just to get a pet food or barnyard animal food dispenser that has a remote and then use a SwitchBot to automate that remote. There are some of these that are used for animal training. Of course you’d also have to find candy that fit that device. If you don’t mind candy not being wrapped, M&Ms would work fine.
But if you don’t have any of that equipment already and you don’t have any other uses for it, that could easily be a $300 solution. Easy to set up and automate, though.
This is the treat dispenser I already use with my dog. It works very well. I was already thinking of putting it inside a large plastic jack-o’-lantern with the tray sticking out. . The remote is about the size of a poker chip and the dispenser is about the size of a football helmet.
Since I already have the treat and train and the Switchbot, it won’t cost me anything except a plastic pumpkin. . And I will probably use about four dollars of Sugru to stick it to a table by the door. But obviously it would be expensive if you were starting from scratch.
A friend of mine is going to use the sharper image gumball machine which has a motion detector and can be set to “small handful” or “large handful”. It’s $60.
It wouldn’t be linked to anything else, but it’s an interesting idea.
I will have to have a look around, if I can get something like the Sharper Candy Dispenser but with mains power, I could put it on a smart plug so I could turn it on when the doorbell was rung, then it would start detecting motion and dispense
Also, Wicked Makers has a non-automated treat tube project which is really clever.
Why does this look like a @johnconstantelo Project to me? LOL!
Some of the older models were plug-in rather than battery. You can still find those on Amazon, but maybe from third-party sellers.
Note, however, that all of these work like touchfree soap dispensers: it’s only detecting motion right underneath the spout. These were originally designed for offices where they didn’t want everyone putting their hands in the candy bowl.
If you find a device with a remote, like the dog training device I put in my first post, then it’s easier because the visitor doesn’t have to figure out how to activate it, you can use the remote to dispense even if the visitor is several feet away from the device.
Very cool! That should scare some folks around here.