Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mug-handle sensing microwave oven

If only ...
 
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Microwave ovens are handy for re-heating mugs of beverage that careless, inattentive people who spend too much time talking have allowed to go cold - or at least, too cool to drink pleasantly.

Many microwave ovens, however, have a turntable to ensure even heating.

When a mug is placed in the oven and re-heated, when the timer runs out there is a better than 50% chance that the handle of the mug will be away from the user, or at least relatively inaccessible - and since the oven heats the contents of the mug, not the structure itself, then the handle is usually cool enough to grasp, even for a thin-skinned wimp.

Should the handle be inconveniently placed, there are several options.

1. Restart the microwave and observe the mug; wait until the handle is perfectly positioned, then press the CANCEL button.

2. Locate a cloth or glove and use it to pick up the hot mug. If the user has small hands and pitifully weak grip strength, take care that the mug does not slip from the feeble grasp and spill or shatter on the floor.

3. Attempt to pick up the hot body of the mug with unprotected hands, resulting in shrieks of pain, spilt beverage etc.

4. Call for someone else with superior grip strength, dexterity and/or more heat-tolerant appendages to come and extract the mug.

The latter option seems to be the most popular. (The option of putting a glass plate - which does not heat up - under the mug before microwaving the contents also seems to be beyond the capacity of the typical user).

Thus BorgCo's kitchen appliance division is developing a mug-handle-sensing microwave oven. Equipped with a laser scanner and four video cameras, the user places their mug in the chamber, selects the heating time, then presses the special HEAT MUG control button. The oven proceeds to heat the beverage, but also scans the mug as it turns, and ensures that when the turntable stops, the handle is always facing toward the door.

And thus we progress.

8th of 7, Oct 17 2020

Microwave turntable optimised mug https://en.wikipedi...Mether_-_detail.JPG
[pocmloc, Oct 18 2020]

Patent , device and method for... https://patents.goo...atent/US5558799A/en
.... controlling the rotation of the turntable of a microwave oven to return to the same position as when the present cooking cycle began. [kdf, Oct 18 2020]

Zanussi Series 20 ReTurntable https://www.zanussi...owave-oven/zmbn4dx/
the turntable always returns to its original starting position. [kdf, Oct 18 2020]


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Annotation:







       Seems a bit complicated ; why not simply install a small, vertical flywheel in the mug wall, to keep the handle always pointed in the direction of the uwave door ?
FlyingToaster, Oct 17 2020
  

       In the same way that cars used to have a hole in the front into which a crank-handle could be inserted to crank-start the car, microwaves should also have a hole for a crank-handle to be inserted for manual rotation of the turntable to permit optimum mug orientation
hippo, Oct 17 2020
  

       It's unlikely that anything involving such a level of mechanical complexity will be favorably received; the absence of voice activation is already a thorny issue ...   

       // why not simply install a small, vertical flywheel in the mug wall //   

       Haha. You just try installing a small vertical flywheel in the wall of her favourite mug, the one her sister gave her, the one with the picture of Scooby-Doo on it, and then when you get out of intensive care you can explain to the class why it turned out to be a bad idea (Probably using some sort of communications aid, because having your lungs ripped out through your throat can have a noticeable impact on your ability to speak comprehensibly).
8th of 7, Oct 17 2020
  

       Buy a better microwave. There exist models which will return the turntable to the original position it was it before the last door closing, thus accomplishing your idea.
tatterdemalion, Oct 17 2020
  

       Mug sized circle(s), slightly indented in microwave plate, that uses gear rotation off plate rotation to keep the handle in the most convenient orientation? Retrofit capable to non better microwaves.
wjt, Oct 18 2020
  

       There was a high-end CD player in the 80s that would stop the disc at the exact orientation it was inserted at, label up, label down, whatever (Borg & Olufsen, I believe). This tech is certainly transferable.

[tatterdemalion] really?? Too cool!
whatrock, Oct 18 2020
  

       Got a make/model number there, [tat] ?   

       Please ?   

       The idea of a plastic "Mether sleeve" that the mug can be placed in - like one of those "skeleton" holders for vending-machine cups - has merit.
8th of 7, Oct 18 2020
  

       “make/model number?”
-8th of 7, Oct 18 2020
  

       Found one for you (Zanussi link) but it was surprisingly difficult to find advertisements that specifically mention that feature - most of the ads promote things like power level or how easy they are to use. FWIW, the idea is older than halfbakery, goes at least as far back as 1993 (patent link).
kdf, Oct 18 2020
  

       "... and there was Much Rejoicing."
8th of 7, Oct 18 2020
  

       Thanks [kdf].
tatterdemalion, Oct 18 2020
  

       As per [tatterdemalion], "boomerang" turntables are a Thing, and have been since ages ago. A (very) quick Google says Sanyo were the main seller. Doesn't need "laser scanner and four video cameras", just a simple rotary position encoder to count the revs.
(Also, most microwaves use a 5rpm speed, so use steps of 12 seconds and you're set...)
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 18 2020
  


 

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