If you are a fan of physics wunderkind Richard Feynman and you like bongo drums, this Feynman simulator will satisfy your every desire. Between wise quips, this Feyn-bot will dazzle you with its drumming expertise.

Parts List

A Black woman's manicured hand holds a round microcontroller with lit up LEDs.
Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming. We've taken the original Circuit Playground Classic and...
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Top down view of a Adafruit CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express with a circular board connected.
Sometimes we wonder if robotics engineers ever watch movies. If they did, they'd know that making robots into servants always ends up in a robot rebellion. Why even go down that...
Out of Stock
Mini Push-Pull Solenoid wired to Trinket, activating back and forth
Solenoids are basically electromagnets: they are made of a coil of copper wire with an armature (a slug of metal) in the middle. When the coil is energized, the slug is pulled into the...
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Micro servo with three pin cable
Tiny little servo can rotate approximately 180 degrees (90 in each direction) and works just like the standard kinds you're used to but smaller. You can use any servo...
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Enclosed Speaker with JST cable
Listen up! This 2.8" x 1.2" speaker is a great addition to any audio project where you need 4 ohm impedance and 3W or less of power. We particularly like...
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Wiring Diagram

Solenoids don't have 'direction' - any current will make them push. So even though we wired the black wire to 5V and the red wires to the #1 and #2 drive ports, they'll work just fine.

The microservo is taped to a wooden stick that moves the paper cut-out mouth up and down, for a Monty-Python-style puppet.


Our code plays through a few wave file quips and quotes we found online, with some interstitial bongo drumming. Once all the audio has been played, it bongos for a long time, then repeats!

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2018 Limor Fried for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

# CircuitPython 3.0 CRICKIT demo

import gc
import time

import audioio
import audiocore
import board
from adafruit_motor import servo
from adafruit_seesaw.pwmout import PWMOut
from adafruit_seesaw.seesaw import Seesaw
from busio import I2C

i2c = I2C(board.SCL, board.SDA)
ss = Seesaw(i2c)

print("Feynbot demo!")

# 1 Servo
pwm = PWMOut(ss, 17)
pwm.frequency = 50
myservo = servo.Servo(pwm)
myservo.angle = 180  # starting angle, highest

# 2 Drivers
drives = []
for ss_pin in (13, 12):
    _pwm = PWMOut(ss, ss_pin)
    _pwm.frequency = 1000

# Audio files
wavfiles = ["01.wav", "02.wav", "03.wav", "04.wav", "05.wav"]
a = audioio.AudioOut(board.A0)

# Start playing the file (in the background)
def play_file(wavfile):
    f = open(wavfile, "rb")
    wav = audiocore.WaveFile(f)

# Tap the solenoids back and forth
def bongo(t):
    for _ in range(t):
        drives[0].duty_cycle = 0xFFFF
        drives[0].duty_cycle = 0
        drives[1].duty_cycle = 0xFFFF
        drives[1].duty_cycle = 0

# Move mouth back and forth
def talk(t):
    for _ in range(t):
        myservo.angle = 150
        myservo.angle = 180

filenum = 0  # counter to play all files

while True:

    # time to play the bongos!

    # OK say something insightful
    # and move the mouth while it does
    while a.playing:

    # Done being insightful, take a break

    # If we went thru all the files, JAM OUT!
    filenum += 1
    if filenum >= len(wavfiles):
        filenum = 0

This guide was first published on May 16, 2018. It was last updated on May 22, 2024.

This page (Feynman Simulator) was last updated on May 22, 2024.

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