Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

Candle Snuffing Robot


Entry ID #: 8666
Created: Mon, Dec 7, 2020 3:31 PM

Introduction: We created a snuffer bell part to add to a robotic arm.  The robotic arm will swing down and snuff the candle by starving it of air.  We decided to create this piece because it is a helpful innovation, which frees people of the partially dangerous responsibility of snuffing a candle. Automating the candle snuffer makes it quick and convenient and on top of this, it removes part of the danger of forgetting about a candle and starting a fire.   The new part will be used by those who enjoy lighting candles or the pleasant scent and who also have a proclivity to hurt themselves or forget about a candle. These people may be elderly or simply clumsy.  Robotics Explanation: The bell is what allows the robot to snuff the candle flame. It does this by sitting on top of the lit wick and starving the flame of oxygen briefly, putting the fire out. It attaches to the Snuffer Arm with two screws by utilizing two square holes that are measured to fit with the VEX part. When a bump switch is pushed, the servo motor swings the arm down so the bell sits square on the candle. Once the candle is out, the arm swings back up.  3D Modeling Explanation: To create the bell, which is used to snuff out the candle flame, we revolved a sketch of a cross section of a bell shape. The sizing was 0.4" tall by 0.3" wide on the model. Then we used the shell tool to create a 0.35 "deep hole in the bell. Once the bell was finished, we rotated the work plane, and sketched and extruded the part that would connect the piece to our robot. The sketch was 1" by 0.15", and the extrusion was 0.5" tall. After we had the solid connector part, we created square holes by cutting out two 0.2" by 0.2" squares in the extrusion tab where the screws would sit. When we printed the part, we scaled it up by 1.5 times the size so it would fit the candle. To create this part we used Autodesk Inventor Professional 2020. In addition to the Bell, we created a 3D modeled match so we could build the robot to the correct size before we got actual matches. To do this, we sketched a 0.15" by 0.15" square and extruded it to be 1.5" tall. Next, we sketched half of an oval on top and revolved to make the top of the match. This portion of the match was 0.25" tall by 0.15" wide once it was a 3-dimensional shape. We also created this part in Autodesk Inventor Professional 2020. In order to digitally show how all the parts fit together using an assembly, we modeled our entire robot. Conclusion: This project helped us to learn how to use Autodesk Inventor to make more advanced and intricate 3-dimensional objects. It allowed us to figure out the mechanics of a robot and how to use pieces we already have with pieces we have designed in order to make it work. We will use 3D design again in the future in both VEX and in the world to design solutions. Being able to create a custom part expands the applications and components we are able to use in combination with VEX parts. The software and knowledge of the software will help us in the future with competitive robotics to be able to more thoroughly think through how the different pieces of robot will work together to be able to complete its task. Making a snuffer using only VEX parts would be incredibly difficult and wouldn’t function nearly as well. By making it with 3D printing and modeling, we enhanced the effectiveness of our robot. Knowing 3D design will most likely help us in our career paths by helping us understand the technology we use in the future, whether that’s a computer or athletic equipment. If we go into the engineering field, we’ll be able to use it to complete personalized mechanical parts we create ourselves. Even if we don’t physically create anything in our future jobs, we can use 3D modeling to visually illustrate things that would otherwise be hard to share when we inevitably must share our ideas. 

Links / Videos

This video demonstrates how the candle snuffing robot works. There is also an animation of the Autodesk Inventor Assembly.