# Design of Egg Black Box

Our design lecturer require us to come out with a black box which can differentiate between raw egg and hard-boiled egg. On the black box, there should be one inlet and two outlets (one for raw, the other for hard-boiled).Dimension constraints of the black box is 500mm x 500mm x 500mm. The power source given are 12 AA batteries (only these, no other power source are allowed), while the actuators are 3 motors (specification of the motors is up for us to decide). We have tried several ways to differentiate the eggs. The density of the egg regarding the buoyancy stuff seems not particularly useful as the density of egg is differ from one another. The only effective way we have tested to differentiate them is by spinning the egg. Nonetheless, we can hardly come out with any mechanism to spin the egg by using only three motors (not to mention transport mechanism of the egg that also require the motors). Can anyone please give some suggestions on the way of differentiating the eggs or the mechanism to spin them?

berkeman
Mentor
Our design lecturer require us to come out with a black box which can differentiate between raw egg and hard-boiled egg. On the black box, there should be one inlet and two outlets (one for raw, the other for hard-boiled).Dimension constraints of the black box is 500mm x 500mm x 500mm. The power source given are 12 AA batteries (only these, no other power source are allowed), while the actuators are 3 motors (specification of the motors is up for us to decide). We have tried several ways to differentiate the eggs. The density of the egg regarding the buoyancy stuff seems not particularly useful as the density of egg is differ from one another. The only effective way we have tested to differentiate them is by spinning the egg. Nonetheless, we can hardly come out with any mechanism to spin the egg by using only three motors (not to mention transport mechanism of the egg that also require the motors). Can anyone please give some suggestions on the way of differentiating the eggs or the mechanism to spin them?
Would you get extra credit if you did it without power or motors? Can you think of a way that you could do it without power? I think it should be possible....

dlgoff
Gold Member
12 AA batteries could create a lot of light. Could you tell the difference by the amount of light that can get transmitted through them?

Would you get extra credit if you did it without power or motors? Can you think of a way that you could do it without power? I think it should be possible....
No extra credit would be given, but it would certainly be very nice if able to achieve that.

By the way, the operator is not supposed to interfere with the black box while the process is carried out. In other word, the human/operator can't involved in any part or ways during the process.

berkeman
Mentor
No extra credit would be given, but it would certainly be very nice if able to achieve that.

By the way, the operator is not supposed to interfere with the black box while the process is carried out. In other word, the human/operator can't involved in any part or ways during the process.

Do you see where I'm headed with the unpowered mechanism, though?

Do you see where I'm headed with the unpowered mechanism, though?
Not sure if I could get it. Mind to enlighten us?

berkeman
Mentor
Not sure if I could get it. Mind to enlighten us?
Well, just keep thinking about it.... It's based on the spinning property difference that you already mentioned...

Well, just keep thinking about it.... It's based on the spinning property difference that you already mentioned...
Thanks for your hints. We'll try to figure that out before verifying with you.

Well, just keep thinking about it.... It's based on the spinning property difference that you already mentioned...
Does it utilize gravity during the process?

berkeman
Mentor
Does it utilize gravity during the process?
Yes. I'd picture a single ramp in, some tricky passive stuff in the middle, and two ramps out...

Yes. I'd picture a single ramp in, some tricky passive stuff in the middle, and two ramps out...
Can you mention the components of the tricky passive stuff in the middle there?

Borek
Mentor
I thought task was assigned to you, not to berkeman

Does the raw egg have to come out of the black box as an unsmashed egg?

You could always try to test the friction of the egg shell

what about ohms resistance difference in the 2 types of eggs?

berkeman
Mentor
what about ohms resistance difference in the 2 types of eggs?
The high resistance of the shell would probably dominate, I would guess. Have you tried any experiments? I have some HB & raw eggs in the fridge right now...

We hd tried several other methods. Some of them are mentioned briefly as followed:

Let the eggs rolling down inclined plane - raw eggs roll down faster than hard-boiled one. However this require a long ramp before any significant difference can be observed, which is quite not suitable for our case due to size constraints.

Oscillating the eggs - we hd built a crude model of verge&foliot escapement to oscillate the eggs, and tried to observe the difference in their amplitude. We replace the foliot bar and adjustable weight with only the eggs together with its container(paper cup). Slight difference is observed(hard-boiled's amplitude seems to be A LITTLE BIT larger). But it is uncertain whether there is any difference(No conclusion can be drawn), probably due to two reasons:
-our crude model couldnt gv accurate results
-the paper cup contribute additional moment of inertia in the system

We hd also try to oscillate the egg in pendulum manner, and there is a difference - raw egg stops faster than the hard-boiled. But the string must be long enough, otherwise the difference is not apparent. We r thinking to modify a little on gravity escapement to measure the difference. There r things yet to b overcame, i.e.:
-Method of transferring the egg from the inlet to the pendulum position. After finishing the process, transporting it to the outlet.

Anyone gt any idea fr tht?

dlgoff
Gold Member
Light transmission IMO.

Light transmission IMO.
Thanks fr ur suggestion. However, our lecturer prefer us to investigate the possibility of differentiating the eggs MECHANICALLY. So any suggestion on the mechanism wud b much appreciated.

Averagesupernova
Gold Member
The old tried and true method of spinning an egg up, suddenly stopping it, then letting it go to see if it starts spinning up on its own from the moving liquid inside should be adaptable to ramps, holders, etc.

Borek
Mentor
The old tried and true method of spinning an egg up, suddenly stopping it, then letting it go to see if it starts spinning up on its own from the moving liquid inside
Just spin two eggs - boiled and raw - they behave differently even without stopping them.

alternatively, fix the egg, spin the support, remove the spin power, measure the time to stop. shuttle egg one way or the other.

make box ez to clean.

not sure you can do this on that power supply, but use an amplifier to measure the sound of a tapped egg. shuttle left or right (if there's a difference).. perhaps, emit a sound, record the signal out, then, perhaps there is a difference in return based on difference in absorption between raw/boiled..

what about a 5$stud sensor.. would it read different if it was raw or boiled... i dunno. berkeman Mentor what about a 5$ stud sensor.. would it read different if it was raw or boiled... i dunno.
There's one way to find out, isn't there? Give it a try and let us know.