I have made some progress and the end is in sight though I am not sure if I will finish in time, but we shall see.
I have hacked and chopped and glued an old gearbox together, I found that the output shaft ran at nice speed with the first gear set I used but I was running the motor at 500 RPM, but it just didn't have the power at this speed so I re configured the gears and now I can run the motor at full tilt.
here is my first attempt at turning it on.
Next I added the rails to keep the buckets orderly, though they do get a bit shaken up as they go over the top roller cutting down the flanges of the roller should minimize this, also adding a swivel to hold the bucket to the chain was necessary. As I expected I had to reinforce the rollers as the CD's came off the bearing when I put a heavier load on the chain.
Now that the mechanical side it in an operable state, for now at least, I have to work on the electronics I have bought a couple of RTC chips MCP79410 and DS1307 they both use I2C communication so the implementation should be fairly similar I am planning on attempting to used the MCP79410 first and if I cannot get anywhere with that one I will try the other.
Once that is done I would like to use the two proximity sensors as a rough gesture sensing setup move your hand past in one direction the motor turns that way move your hand past the other way the motor moves in that direction hold your hand still it stops moving, but we shall see if I get there.