An ordinary supermarket carriage empowered with motors so handling the carriage becomes easy and as intuitive to the shopper as if it’s a regular carriage.
The supermarket adventure is characterized by the common phenomenon that the farther in the adventure we go, the heavier our carriage gets and the harder it is to manipulate it. So, if to begin with we don’t have much strength or ability to control it, even less as we advance to our target. We want our carriage to serve us, and not the other way around!
In order to maintain the intuitive interaction with the shopper, the manipulation of the carriage remains as always – by pushing and pulling the handle. The handle is equipped with sensors and switches invisible to the shopper, that perceive pushing an pulling movements on the two sides of the handle. These are then analyzed by the software and translated to action of the motors.
We used a PhidgetMotorControl HC which allows us to control the angular velocity and acceleration of the motors.
For power, we used a typical PC power supply which use switcher technology to convert the AC input to lower DC voltages. The typical voltages supplied are:
– 3.3 volts
– 5 volts
– 12 volts
For our motors, the suitable voltage is 12 volts, so we used the yellow cable.
We also connected a switch to a green and black cables to be able to turn it on and off.
Our carriage is a typical supermarket carriage but we had to replace the back wheels so it will fit the installation of the motors. To stabilize the movement of the carriage we used plumbing pipe which attaches the wheels to each other and sets a straight path of movement.