P17421: Robocomposter 2.0

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Final Demo and Handoff

The team planned to run final integration tests to ensure that the RoboComposter was fully functional for hand-off. Multiple components were assembled onto the frame and run through a full systems integration test. Components tested included the Grinder motor, Holding bin auger, and Reactor bin auger. Additionally, GUI functionality and Arduino responsiveness were also tested. Compostable material was put into the RoboComposter for a final test to ensure that quality compost could be made within a reasonable time frame.

The team accomplished a full integrations test and ensured that all components were functional and ready for hand-off. Features tested included, Working Grinder motor with various brown and green compost materials. Working Holding bin auger to move grounded materials to the Reactor bin. Working Reactor bin motor, which can aerate compost and extrude compost. Working GUI touch controls for all three motors with forward and reverse functionality. Working Arduino Micro Controller which has the ability to control all motors. This includes a safety which turns off all motors if ever disconnected from GUI touch controls.

Test Results Summary

Risk and Problem Tracking

Risk Management here.

Final Project Documentation

Bill of Materials here.

Technical Paper here.

Troubleshooting Guide here.

RoboComposter Wiring Schematic here.

RoboComposter Wiring Labels here.

Raspberry Pi GUI code here.

Arduino code here.

Plans for Wrap-up

The project has been wrapped up for this year. Although there were a few shortcomings, primarily with the GUI not being able to store data, log waste input and plots graphs of the data there were also a few mechanical shortcomings. The main issue with the Robocomposter is that it did not fulfill the requirement to be completely "autonomous" and hands-off. The composting bins require manual intervention to turn them over and stir them- the augers cannot do it on their own. Documentation is being done now to describe this issue in depth but in the future, a team will need to add some agitator to the bins to stir the compost around and knock it into the augers. Another option could be using air and some sort of blower but this would make it noisier.The last alternative would be abandoning the augers and redesigning a the transportation system or bins entirely.

The efforts of the team before the end of the year will be focused on documenting all work so that the customer and a future team will have a good starting point and understand the systems in depth.

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