I'm a huge Adafruit fanboy, so I subscribe to their quarterly Adabox hardware kits. In one of them (Adabox 008) they included a fun little breakout board called a "Crickit" which makes it easy to control servos, motors, neopixels, even speakers and touch sensors. Lots of fun things!
I wanted to come up with a project to play with some of this, and it was close to Halloween. So naturally, a Halloween decoration would be perfect. After a few thoughtful hours of sitting on my Thinking Couch and drinking some Thinking Beer, an automated Ouija board seemed like a great project to play with this board.
So I drew a few doodles and when I had a rough design ready, I started prototyping. Cardboard and masking tape make fantastic robot prototypes.
It got way easier to deal with once I realized I could also tape the larger "arm" servo to my desk to see something a bit more like real motion:
This was enough to see that the basic idea was solid and that I could probably make this work!