Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pez Autoloader

Automating a high dexterity finger task
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(I accidentally overwrote this idea, manually restoring it from my memory)

Even an adept requires about 60 seconds to load a Pez dispenser.

This cries out to me for an engineering solution: a gadget into which you put an empty Pez dispenser and a wrapped stack of its candies, and with a button push or lever pull, load the one into the other.

The design is still pretty much black box to me– I imagine what I want it to do, but am vague on the how. A sharp blade of two, but how to avoid damaging the candies?

Surprising given Pez’s ~90 year history, my web search for the idea found nothing. Could this really be an unpublished idea?

CraigD, Mar 14 2016

How to load a PEZ dispenser in 1 swift motion https://www.youtube...watch?v=bhPHPPhSCPk
A video of someone loading a Pez dispenser in 20 sec [CraigD, Mar 14 2016]

Sketch https://photos.goog...k45T1RmWTdkVTFaODF3
Not show, the linkages that make the 3 moving parts work in concert at the pull/push of a single lever/button, etc. [CraigD, Mar 16 2016]

[link]






       " pretty much black box – I imagine what I want it to do, but am vague on the how "   

       Yeah...I think the website you are posting on says something about you providing how the idea is supposed to work, not just wishing that it did.   

       Perhaps you should research magazine loading tools for semi-automatic firearms - they can be very laborious to load, and I know some work has been done in that area.
normzone, Mar 14 2016
  

       // Yeah...I think the website you are posting on says something about you providing how the idea is supposed to work, not just wishing that it did.// I confess “a sharp blade of two, but how to avoid damaging the candies?” is a bit vague. :) Allow me to elaborate:   

       The requirements of a pistol/rifle magazine loader pale in complexity to those of a Pez loader for at least a few reasons: Pistol and rifle magazines are open at their tops. The tops of Pez dispenser magazines are covered; Cartridges are sturdy. Pez candies are brittle; cartridges don't come tightly wrapped in foil/paper. Pez do.   

       I imagine 2 approaches to a Pez autoloader. 1st and most obvious is one that imitates the usual way a human loads one: unwrapping the candies and inserting them as a stack into the extended dispenser magazine. 2nd, unwrapping the candies and inserting them into the partially extended magazine one at a time.   

       I’m leaning toward approach 2, because it poses fewer requirements on the more troublesome unwrapping part of the machine   

       The greatest challenge is the unwrapping. The least precise scheme would be a bladed or abrasive spinning disk or drum that shreds the wrapper (like a commercial potato peeling machine), but since the wrapper is sturdier than the candy, I fail to imagine an implementation of this scheme that wouldn’t at least scar, at worst pulverize, the candy.   

       Another scheme is to use one or more sharp blades to cut the wrapper, but again, it’s hard to imagine not damaging the candies.   

       My current favorite scheme is to exploit the loose edge of the Pez wrapper, grabbing and pulling it while allowing the stack to rotate, extracting the wrapper, leaving the loose candies behind. These would then feed into a hopper, where they are aligned in a single row that feeds them one at a time into the partially extended dispenser.   

       However, this one-at-a-time insertion requires a complicated motion, because the candy must compress the stack in the magazine while only partially inserted, then be inserted fully. So I’m inclined toward a wrapper-extracting first stage followed by a stage that restacks the candies, grabs the stack, and inserts it into the fully extended dispenser magazine.   

       I remain amazed at the lack of online literature about the idea.
CraigD, Mar 15 2016
  

       I am certain that leather clad action awesomes reload both pistols at once by pressing the guns suggestively against the body and pushing the clips inside, in slo mo. Possibly I dreamed that. But the principle is sound.   

       The candies need to stick together a little bit, for one. If it is just a little bit that should be OK.   

       If the spring mechanism were integral to the candy load that would help. And be more expensive. But after you have paid for that shiny form-fitting leather suit it will not seem like much.
bungston, Mar 15 2016
  

       //I am certain that leather clad action awesomes reload both pistols at once by pressing the guns suggestively against the body and pushing the clips inside, in slo mo.// There actually are Pez dispensers where you load the candies into plastic magazines you ram, action-hero fashion, up the grip of a plastic toy pistol. I knew of and coveted these as a child, but they were a hard sell with parents, who I imagine found the sight of their progeny sucking realistic gun barrels, while squeezing off round after sweet candy round, disturbing.   

       Coolness aside loading removable magazines into guns, toys or otherwise, is a entirely different (and baked to a hard cinder) idea than an autoloader, which is what loads the candies/cartridges into the magazine, removable or otherwise.   

       // My current favorite scheme is to exploit the loose edge of the Pez wrapper, grabbing and pulling it while allowing the stack to rotate, extracting the wrapper, leaving the loose candies behind. // Proof of concept experiments along these lines are unpromising. Pez wrappers are devilishly hard to remove, requiring all ones millions- of- years- of- evolution- acquired innate primate finger skill to squeeze and pluck the stubborn end pieces from the stack of candy. Even employing post-paleolithic tech in the form of a sharp Swiss Army knife blade, freeing the candies involves a discouraging number of precise feedback-y movements, not something easy to implement in a simple pushbutton or lever activated mechanism, or even sophisticated robotics.   

       I’ve a new favorite scheme: cut off one end of the wrapper, then push the candies out that end. Unfortunately, I’ve exhausted my Pez supply, so necessary concept proof will have to wait ‘til I can restock.   

       PS: rewatching the video of the guy unwrapping and loading Pezs “in 1 swift motion”, it’s clear he cheated, unwrapping then rewrapping the candies to eliminate the difficult parts involving glue and tight folds Oh, the fraud that YouTube panders!
CraigD, Mar 16 2016
  

       It's just as clear that this isn't an idea.   

       the easiest solution would be to manufacture the Pez as an unbroken column, ie: glue the candies together, break them apart upon dispensation.   

       On the other hand, do Pez burn ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 16 2016
  

       //It's just as clear that this isn't an idea.// OK, then, an actual idea (design): A plastic or metal box accepts the dispenser, feet down in a top slot, a pack of candies in side slot with door ... ah, a sketch works better ... MSPaint ... see link.   

       //the easiest solution would be to manufacture the Pez ...// Of course Pez (or the hobbyist) could package the candies in an easier-to-load form, but the whole engineering challenge is to make a gadget that takes the standard dispenser and packaged candy and quickly, semi-automatically, loads the one in the other.   

       //On the other hand, do Pez burn ?// They’re pretty much just sugar, corn syrup, Adipic Acid (?!) and palm oil, so sure, they burn. Practically all food will – that’s the usual way to find the Calories you print on their nutritional info labels.   

       At about 3 KCal, 1 little candy has over 10 time the energy of the powder in a 22 LR cartridge. They’re hard to ignite, though, since they don’t have an oxygenator. Maybe grind one into powder so fine it can float and flood the chamber with oxygen... I just tried grinding one (my stock’s not completely exhausted) with a mortar and pestle and flaming it with a lighter, and was rewarded after 30+ sec with an unspectacular blue flame and a sticky burnt mess.
CraigD, Mar 16 2016
  

       I was thinking more along the lines of burning the wrapper, preferably without igniting the candies.
FlyingToaster, Mar 16 2016
  

       /they don’t have an oxygenator/ What about that potassium nitrate stump buster that people make rocket candy out of? That would work.   

       8th would probably have you use the permanganate or something made of osmium.
bungston, Mar 17 2016
  
      
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