allowed me to select
several different sounds
and combine them to
make the track. I used a
simple recorder (Figure 8)
from Electronics123 (see
Resources) which includes
a speaker, triggers, and a
battery pack. It was then a
simple process to load the
completed track which I’d
prepared in Audacity (see
In order to save
weight, I decided to stick
with the tiny onboard
speaker that came with the player instead of adding a set
of speakers. The sound quality is not great but for my
purposes, it works. This player includes a repeat function,
so I just trigger it and away it goes.
It is Alive!
I had a great time bringing this guy to life (Figure 9).
(The link to the completed video can be found at the article
link or on my website.) Although not an overly complex
project, it satisfied my goal which was to explore the
technology to determine how useful it would be for our
purposes. It allowed me to try out some new techniques
and play with some cool previously overlooked toys. I
became familiar with the electronics and now have a better
understanding on how to best put a system together.
Ultimately, we’ll be using the wireless controller to do
some live puppeteering of a character — just like they do
when filming movies.
Another project I’d love to try is to affix a gripper
attachment to an articulated arm. I would then control
it with the wireless transmitter to hand out candy.
Combine that with a microphone that controls the jaw
of the character and I could talk to the trick or treaters
as I hand out the Halloween candy. Now, that would be
an interactive character!
After playing with this, I can understand how
building fighting robots can become so addicting. It’s a
whole lot of fun! SV
Figure 8. Basic audio player from Electronics123.
Figure 9. Looking spooky and on the prowl.
SERVO 09.2015 73
Figure 7. Fur and LEDs
installed and ready to go