Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Lolly machine upgrade

Laird, Jodie (2015) Lolly machine upgrade. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Download (3MB)


The Lolly Machine was originally constructed and programmed in 1996 at Murdoch University’s Rockingham Campus by Graeme Cole and John Boulton [1], [2]. The machine sorts lollies by colour and dispenses the user-selected amount of each colour [1], [2]. The primary purpose of the machine is to demonstrate the practical engineering degree provided by Murdoch University during public events [1]. Demonstrations support the “keeping it real” motto of the Think Murdoch 2015 Campaign [3]. The secondary purpose is to expose Industrial Computer Systems Engineering students to more complex projects and industrial components, for example the colour sorting function is applicable in the food, manufacturing and ore processing industries [4], [5].

The Lolly Machine Upgrade Honours Thesis was undertaken to fulfil the requirements of the Bachelor of Engineering Honours Degree at Murdoch University. The main objective of the project was to return the Lolly Machine to an operational state for future public demonstrations by upgrading the control and communication of the machine environment. The required tasks were divided into five main objectives: two relating to developing the software and hardware to an operational state, two to extending the machine functionality, aesthetic appeal and user interaction and one to improving the limited documentation to ease future works.

Overall four of the five objectives were achieved. The lolly machine is in an operational state, capable of stand-alone operation. The functionality and robustness were optimised by replacing faulty components and addressing hardware extensions. A DotStar, an individually addressable light emitting diode strip, was installed to extend the machine’s aesthetic appeal and user-interaction, optimising the machine effectiveness during public demonstrations. Multiple documents were created and updated, significantly improving the machine documentation. Due to the unforeseen extension of the first objective, one of the machine extension objectives was not completed.

The purpose of this report is to present the information pertaining to each objective, including the design and approach, works completed, reasoning for decisions, problems encountered and solutions determined. To summarise the thesis, the final outcome and direction for future works are detailed.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Cole, Graeme
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year