Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Replace "light" with "sausages" and this may work...

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Microwave handle aligner

Align jug handles with the door when stopping a microwave
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

When you microwave something with a handle (eg a jug of custard) and press stop, then invariably the handle is not by the door necessitating a grovel around a piping hot vessel to retrieve it.

This is both awkward and dangerous.

The solution is to mount an internet connected camera facing inside the microwave. Then over a period of months build up a library of deep learning data videos. Once we have say 1000 videos, we can split them into 90% data and 10% verification. We then apply deep learning to train a convolutional neural network (CNN) to recognise the angle of the handle.

Once trained, the CNN is put in control of the turntable, and the off switch re-routed via a controller so that when the microwave is switched off, the heater cavity magnetron is stopped, but the turntable keeps rotating until the jug handle faces the door.

A simpler option might be to create a jug with multiple handles, say every 90°s.

A more complex option would be to use the backscatter of the microwaves reflected off the jug as a signal source for the CNN training.

TonyDeaf, Oct 05 2021

Mug-handle sensing microwave oven Mug-handle_20sensing_20microwave_20oven
Previous Halfbakery idea - but without the deep learning CNN [TonyDeaf, Oct 05 2021]

US4939333 https://patents.goo...atent/US4939333A/en
[xaviergisz, Oct 05 2021]

US8124920 https://patents.goo...om/patent/US8124920
[xaviergisz, Oct 05 2021]


       I had a microwave that would always leave the handle in the position it started. I don't remember the exact timing, but it would make a complete rotation in 5 or 10 seconds. So for most times, it would end in the same position. If I put in a time like 18 seconds, I'd hear the tone change after 18 seconds when it turned off the microwave, but the tray would continue to turn for 2 more seconds so it would stop in the original position. Of course if you interrupted the cycle, the handle could be anywhere.
scad mientist, Oct 05 2021

       Oh, and it used a synchronous AC motor running on 60Hz from the power line, so it was quite accurate in knowing the position based on how long it was running. I assume they had a different program for 50Hz countries, or could detect the frequency with the controller to compensate. I think that system provides a significant cost savings and reliability advantage over a neural net.
scad mientist, Oct 05 2021

       Surely simpler to not rotate the jug at all, but instead to rotate the magnetron around the jug?
hippo, Oct 05 2021

       Could rotate this idea around [8th]s very similar idea, the tidal drag of one idea on the other could power the CNN.
pocmloc, Oct 05 2021

       Every turntable microwave oven I’ve ever used eventually came to have this feature. The turning mechanism would fail so the container would be in the same position from start to finish.
a1, Oct 05 2021

       It's a 16sec rotation on mine (probably due to 50Hz) so 800 cycles = 1 turn.   

       So all I need to do is replace the timer control with one that works on on multiples of 16 seconds.   

       Thanks [scad mientist]
TonyDeaf, Oct 05 2021

       A deeper door would help, if the door were ~100mm deep hinged further back so that when you open it a good amount of the turntable is exposed and accessible.
bs0u0155, Oct 05 2021

       You could mount the turntable on the door so that when it opens the jug comes out with it ?
TonyDeaf, Oct 05 2021

       You could mount the turntable on the door so that when it opens the jug comes out with it ?
TonyDeaf, Oct 05 2021

       You could put the whole turntable on a slide-out tray.
a1, Oct 05 2021

       1: This is widely baked.
2: This has been done to death here, despite being widely baked.
3: It doesn't need AI or cameras or anything fancy; it just needs to rotate the turntable a whole number of times (as per the baked offerings).
4: Microwaves that don't have a turntable (they scatter the microwaves instead) are baked.
5: Most microwave turntables I've bothered to observe have a rotation every 12 seconds (50Hz where I live); unfortunately my (cheap, old-ish) microwave just has a dial for the timing, so it's hard to accurately get multiples-of-12 for the time.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 05 2021

       So that's a "no" from you, [neutrinos_shadow]?
a1, Oct 05 2021

       6: No.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 05 2021

       Have had the daunting task of replacing the illumination bulb in a microwave oven. Dare I say I'd vote first for an easier way to do that? I'd even contend with a hot pot being out of reach if it were possible to see the pot at all.
reensure, Oct 06 2021

       As a twist (pun intended) I would have the center tray with your food remain stationary while having the entire circular microwave rotate until the door faces the front again. Boring people would just have the magnetron rotate - but where's the cool factor in that?
AusCan531, Oct 06 2021

       You're thinking too small. Mount the turntable on gimbals angled for your latitude, and use a 24-hr cooking cycle (may need a pulsed or less powerful magnetron)
pocmloc, Oct 06 2021


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