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THS Membership Box

This project is for the Tokyo HackerSpace.

The concept is for a device in which members can pay their dues without the need for direct human interaction.

Currently, in order to pay dues, members must meet face to face with one of the dues collecting officers (of which there are three). The officer needs to collect the money, then write a receipt if requested. Finally they need to update our accounting sheet in google docs.

I have big plans for this machine, but for now, it will be a humble device to take some of the load off.

It will do the following:

  1. Member gets the attention of the machine either by inserting a bill or pressing one of the two buttons on the face.
  2. The machine then wakes up and indicates to either insert a bill or skip right to the next step
  3. It should count the currency credited on the machine, and divide by 5000 yen, and thus indicating on the screen how many months worth of membership the user has inserted
  4. When the user is ready to continue, they hit a button
  5. A receipt printer will then print out two slips PER month paid for.
  6. The user keeps one slip, while writing their name and membership number on the other.
  7. They then insert this slip into a slot or separate box

For accounting, one of the three officers need only:

  1. Open the box at the end of the month and count the cash for deposit
  2. Collect the receipts from the box and update each member's dues from the slips
  3. Rather than spending all night on Tuesday, collecting dues from members, we can enjoy our time, and only have to do this all at once at the end of the month.


Future improvements

I plan on adding quite a lot to this machine in the future:

  • A much more advanced user interface. Perhaps a touch screen driven by an old EEPC or a RaspberryPi / Chumby hackerboard
  • The ability to pay for much more than just memberships, such as:
    • kits
    • parts packs
    • reserved events and classes
    • make donations
  • I already have plans for a vending machine, in which an array of solenoids will hold item bags. To vend, simply activate the solenoid to drop the bag.
  • Coin acceptor
  • Coin dispensor to make change. I am considering hacking a dispenser THS already has. But in the future, I would like to design a universal coin dispenser CAD file that can be adjusted to any currency, then 3D printed, using the same solenoids mentioned above to kick out coins

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