At the office, we decided we were going to have a stocking decorating contest for Christmas. The rules were pretty lax, so I immediately thought of interactivity and electronics and blinky lights and whatnot. Well, that, and there was no way in you-know-what that I was going to hot glue glitter and spongy letters to a stocking with electricity being involved.
Here is a video of the final product to pique your interest:
How did I do it? Easy. Some AVR programming (through my usual Arduino hackery) and some simple electronics and BOOYAH! Motion activated stocking with a Santa sign and some jingle bells.
In my UME Mark II’s (UME = “Useless Machine Ever”), originally I would program an Atmel AVR microcontroller to turn an RC servo forward and backward using timed pulses like you’re supposed to. But, when you want to build many machines, microcontrollers are not the way to go. Simple polarity-changing circuits are the way to go. But, you still want the RPMs of a servo without the hassle of the pulsing control. So, you hack the servo and make it a geared motor. Easy! Here’s how…