Dancing petals controlled by motor!

A project log for Formapale Edest

Beautifully Deceptive Eater

Bhavesh KakwaniBhavesh Kakwani 04/24/2018 at 02:470 Comments

Last time, Natalie made the mechanical structure for the moving/dancing petals. This time, she interfaces it to a Servo motor so that I can control it from the Arduino. Let's learn how it's done!

Start by cutting a slit down the length of a dowel. The slit should be just over an inch in length.

Then, use a saw to chop off that part of the dowel with the slit in it. The length should be around 1.5 - 2 inches.

Drill a hole through the z-axis of the dowel (on the non-slit side!), where the hole diameter is slightly bigger than the diameter of your motor's end-effector/"round plastic spinning part". Put your motor's end-effector in the dowel hole to see if it fits in (aw yeah).

It fits - woohoo! At this point you may ask: why did we cut a slit on the other side? Because that's the interface to our ring of dancing petals! Cut a large popsicle stick in half and check if it fits inside the slit.

It fits too! Wow, this has been going smooth so far. OK, I lied - it took a couple of tries to get to this point and I didn't post pictures of the failed attempts.

Next, Natalie created a simple housing for the Servo motor. The purpose of this is to allow her to easily attach the motor to the inside of the chicken wire and have it be stationary. This can be done simply by cutting 2 popsicle sticks in half and sticking them to the motor on either face. Then, hot-glue the motor to the inside of the planks using a glue gun, and pull out a strand of the chicken wire to wrap around the motor (through the space between the popsicle sticks) and tie it tight against the inside of the structure.

Next, let's finish the interface from the slit to the ring of dancing petals. Cut a popsicle stick into thirds and glue two pieces to the dowel - to the outer diameter of the dowel on one side, and to the popsicle stick (the one we put inside the slit earlier) on the other side. Cut a long piece of twine, long enough to travel from this interface to the ring of petals but NOT TOO LONG (otherwise there will be too much slack and the motor won't be able to pull on it). Hot-glue the twine to the inside of the dowel-slit-popsicles interface here, and hot-glue the other end of the twine to the dowel that's driving the ring of petals.
Great! We've done the mechanical work, so it's time to test it out with the Arduino. Load the "PetalTest.ino" file - available on our project's main page - to your Arduino and plug the Servo motor to your Arduino to test it out! The Servo's Power and Ground wires should connect to 5V and GND respectively on the Arduino, and the Servo's control pin is connected to Arduino pin 9 in our code.