Live Robot Hack Session

Treat-o-matic 2020 Live Hack

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Related Hardware Arduino Genuino Uno

After a long hiatus, I'm back!

Let's make this Halloween contactless! With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Halloween is likely to look a bit different. To solve the issue of social distancing while still giving out candy I figured, why not build a robot to do it!?! I'm going to hack a generic candy claw machine to dispense candy automatically to trick-or-treaters:D

Here's the plan:

  • Show you the normal, boring, operation
  • Remove the coin-operated function
  • Remove the joysticks to take away any temptation to touch the machine
  • Hack in a Windows computer (Atomic Pi)
  • Hack in a USB hub
  • Hack in an Arduino EZ-B
  • Hack in motor controllers
  • Hack in a Camera
  • Hack in a microphone & speaker
  • Hack in a proximity sensor
  • Hack in a PIR sensor

The idea is to have the trick-or-treaters be able to interact with the Treat-o-matic and have it dispense Candy automatically for them. We'll need multiple ways to detect people and interact with them. The program and functionality aren't written or developed yet, that's where you come in! Help me with the ideas to make this dream come alive:D

I also have the alternate goal of embedding a computer running ARC within all my new robots, Computer-based robots are the future!

Join the live chat and add your comments, ideas, and suggestions!


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Oh boy! What fun. I'm really looking forward to watching this. I love this kind of stuff.

Welcome back! We missed this.


Hi Jeremie,  how are you and DJ doing?

I am watching the archive file, cool stuff,

be well my robot friend,



Hi Jeremie  Nice to see you back,  This project is very interesting.  it will be a great tutorial in all the processes you listed.  EzAng  just to let you know Jeremie is not a Robot, I know we all think he is but he's not.  Oh wait DJ seems to control him maybe I am wrong.


Hi nallycat, how are you?

You make me laugh, lol , you all have assisted me in my robot journey -



Thanks, everyone! Glad you like the idea. It's good to back hacking again after a busy summer. I was glad to have some time to relax and do some exploring. I really got into Geocaching this summer. If you like geocaching too and you're ever near the Synthiam office there's a geocache outside called "Don't Fear the Robots" and it's dedicated to @DJ Sures. It has 4 fav points already:D

I've finally gotten around to doing a project page for this robot. I definitely should have done this for every robot, oh well I can always do some backfilling.

The project page for the Treat-o-matic is here.


Jeremie, geocaching sounds very interesting, do you mean you have GPS coordinate that will tell us where DJ is located, what would you call that geocache. suggestions anybody?


So Jeremie, what's the prize ?

User-inserted image @nallycat is near Synthiam's office.


LOL @Nallycat

@PTP there are some robot sensors, figures, and electronic parts in there (it's all robot related) to trade with.


Roger that.  Preparing to deploy Curiosity Rover ... near the target location....

User-inserted image