Background and initial prototype

A project log for Ouija Robot

A disembodied arm that spells out messages from the ether (as long as they come through Twitter)

ronald-mccollamRonald McCollam 05/07/2019 at 19:260 Comments

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!