This is my daughter's idea after getting frustrated/losing at Timezone's claw machines. She helped with the wiring, installation and setup. Thanks mini-maker Sienna.
Xbox controller is modified and the pot signals go into a Sparkfun's SAMD21 dev board which sends pot positions via USB to the Visual Studio .Net app.
The motors are limited to about 2 Watts (kid mode) . 0.5kg counter weights keeps the beaded cord on the pulley without skipping. The absolute encoder with multi-turn software counter keeps track of the cord's length.
She has some pretty condescending thoughts on how to improve the current design. But it's such a great daddy-daughter project.
This is the spare room (old nursery). The claw moves to one of the upper corner when not in use.