Team 4- Prototype II Final Report:Easy Jar Opener/Closer

Introduction:

Our product the Easy Jar Opener/Closer is meant to assist people with limited hand mobility. It’s purpose to open and close jars with no more physical input from the user than simply a flip of a switch. We made a large amount of progress from the prototype I to prototype II. With prototype I all we had was a rotating base that rotated in a clockwise and counter clockwise motion. With Prototype II we attached a upper portion to the base that had two motors attached to it. This step motors had two rods attached to them and raised and lowered a platform that would apply a downward pressure to the jar. 

Description:

Our team modified/retrofitted an already existing product. Black & Decker had a product that would remove a lid from a jar. However some of the residents at CPR expressed that also had difficulties placing the cap back on and tightening it. So we took the Black & Decker appliance and started making changes to it. In the end we had only used a few parts from the old appliance and the rest was new design. We used the upper motor housing and parts of the upper plastic case and the base of the Black & Decker model. We attached the parts to a wooden base and wired the motor to an external power supply. We also wired a three way switch into it so we could reverse the current and allow the motor to rotate both ways. We then built an upper housing and placed two step motors on top of a wooden from. We attached all-thread rods to the motors. These raised and lowered a small platform that is used to apply a downward force to the jars. We used an Arduino to control the step motors. Also below is a picture of our finished product. 

Reflection:

We were able to get the base rotating counter clockwise and clockwise. This is controlled with a three-way switch. We were also able to use an Arduino to control the platform that moves the up and down. The Arduino controls the step motors and tells them what to and how fast to spin. We did have some issues with the all-thread bending. After having the motors move the platform down into place on the lid of the jar and the base would start to rotate the rods and would not stay straight. This caused problems with trying to keep the downward force applied and when we tried to raise the platform back up it would not be lined up and would not raise up without some help. Our prototype is not fully functioning all the time. With the issues I described and we are also having some issues getting enough pressure to be applied from the top because the jars just keep spinning at the base and not working. We have will have lots of improvements to work on for next semester.